Mechanical properties and fractal analysis of the surface texture of sputtered hydroxyapatite coatings

Miroslaw Bramowicz, Laurentiu Braic, Funda Ak Azem, Slawomir Kulesza, Isil Birlik, Alina Vladescu

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

35 Citations (Scopus)


This aim of this work is to establish a relationship between the surface morphology and mechanical properties of hydroxyapatite coatings prepared using RF magnetron sputtering at temperatures in the range from 400 to 800 °C. The topography of the samples was scanned using atomic force microscopy, and the obtained 3D maps were analyzed using fractal methods to derive the spatial characteristics of the surfaces. X-ray photoelectron spectroscopy revealed the strong influence of the deposition temperature on the Ca/P ratio in the growing films. The coatings deposited at 600-800 °C exhibited a Ca/P ratio between 1.63 and 1.69, close to the stoichiometric hydroxyapatite (Ca/P = 1.67), which is crucial for proper osseointegration. Fourier-transform infrared spectroscopy showed that the intensity of phosphate absorption bands increased with increasing substrate temperature. Each sample exhibited well defined and sharp hydroxyapatite band at 566 cm -1 , although more pronounced for the coatings deposited above 500 °C. Both the hardness and elastic modulus of the coated samples decrease with increasing deposition temperature. The surface morphology strongly depends on the deposition temperature. The sample deposited at 400 °C exhibits circular cavities dug in an otherwise flat surface. At higher deposition temperatures, these cavities increase in size and start to overlap each other so that at 500 °C the surface is composed of closely packed peaks and ridges. At that point, the characteristics of the surface turns from the dominance of cavities to grains of similar size, and develops in a similar manner at higher temperatures.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)338-346
Number of pages9
JournalApplied Surface Science
Publication statusPublished - 30 Aug 2016
Externally publishedYes


  • Fractal analysis
  • Hardness
  • Magnetron sputtering
  • Mechanical properties
  • Roughness
  • Young modulus

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Chemistry(all)
  • Condensed Matter Physics
  • Physics and Astronomy(all)
  • Surfaces and Interfaces
  • Surfaces, Coatings and Films

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