The present study applied Sn-0.7Cu-0.2Zn alloy solders to a photovoltaic ribbon. Intermetallic compounds of Cu6Sn5 and Ag3Sn formed at the Cu/solder/Ag interfaces of the module after reflow. Electron probe microanalyzer images showed that a Cu-Zn solid-solution layer (Zn accumulation layer) existed at the Cu/solder interface. After a 72 h current stress, no detectable amounts of Cu6Sn5 were found. However, a small increase in Ag3Sn was found. Compared with a Sn-0.7Cu photovoltaic module, the increase of the intermetallic compounds thickness in the Sn-0.7Cu-0.2Zn photovoltaic module was much smaller. A retard in the growth of the intermetallic compounds caused the series resistance of the module to slightly increase by 9%. A Zn accumulation layer formed at the module interfaces by adding trace Zn to the Sn-0.7Cu solder, retarding the growth of the intermetallic compounds and thus enhancing the lifetime of the photovoltaic module.
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