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Alejandro Gutierrez, Carmen Munuera, Maria Francisca Lopez, Jose Antonio Jimenez, Carmen Morant, Thomas Matzelle, Norbert Kruse, Carmen Ocal

Surface microstructure of the oxide protective layers grown on vanadium-free Ti alloys for use in biomedical applications

Surface Science 600 (2006) 3780–3784

In this work, we present a surface study by SFM (scanning force microscopy) of three new Ti alloys of composition (in wt%) Ti-7Nb-6A1, Ti-13Nb-13Zr and Ti-15Zr-4Nb, developed for biomedical applications. V was not included in these alloys since this element has been reported to be cytotoxic. The surface of these materials has been modified by a thermal treatment in air at 750 °C for different times. As a consequence of this treatment an oxide layer develops on the surface, resulting in both an improvement of the corrosion resistance and an increase of the roughness, which enhances the adhesion of the tissue cells to the implant. SFM has been used to characterize the surface structure and topography of the oxide layers grown on the three alloys. The surface roughness analysis obtained by SFM points to a correlation between the mean square roughness, the thickness of the oxide layer, and the α-phase/β-phase ratio in the base material.

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