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Influence of silver content on the tribomechanical behavior on Ag-TiCN bioactive coatings

AuthorsSánchez-López, J.C. ; Abad, Manuel D. ; Carvalho, I.; Escobar Galindo, R.; Benito, N.; Ribeiro, S.; Henriques, M.; Cavaleiro, A.; Carvalho, S.
Amorphous carbon phases
Fetal bovine serum
Wear mechanism
Issue Date2012
CitationSurface and Coatings Technology, 206: 2192- 2198 (2012)
AbstractSurface modification of bulk materials used in biomedical applications has become an important prerequisite for better biocompatibility. In particular, to overcome the particle generation, low-wear coatings based on carbon (nitrogen) and containing antimicrobial elements such as silver are promising candidates. Thus, the present work explores the potentialities of silver-containing carbonitride-based (Ag-TiCN) thin films prepared by direct current unbalanced reactive magnetron sputtering. The silver content in the coatings was varied from 0 to 26.7 at.% by changing the targets and the fraction of C2H2 and N2 in the gas mixture with Ar. The obtained Ag-TiCN based coatings were characterized in terms of composition and microstructure. Mechanical and tribological properties of the films were studied by nanoindentation and reciprocating pin-on disk testing in a fetal bovine serum solution, respectively. Raman, scanning electron microscope and energy dispersive X-ray analysis was carried out in the contact region after tribological tests to obtain information about the friction mechanism. The cytotoxicity of the coatings was assessed by in vitro tests using fibroblast cells. The coatings comprised a mixture of TiCxN1 − x, Ag and a-C(N)x phases whose relative proportion varied depending on the Ag/Ti ratio. The mechanical, tribological and cytotoxicity properties were correlated with the chemical and phase composition. When the Ag/Ti ratios were below 0.20 (Ag contents < 6.3 at.%) the films resulted harder (~ 18 GPa) with higher wear resistance (~ 10−6 mm3/Nm), showing similar friction coefficient (~ 0.3) and good biocompatibility.
Publisher version (URL)http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.surfcoat.2011.09.059
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