Anodic oxidation of titanium in acid containing electrolytes is a well established technique to increase the thickness of its oxide layer. It is of great value in biomedical applications for improving biocompatibility and corrosion resistance as well as for color coding purpose. Additionally to the chemical composition of an implant surface, also its topography is known to greatly influence the biological response. Besides aiming at a better understanding of film growth, crystallization, incorporation of impurities etc. we study the properties of anodic oxide films in view of its application as natural mask material for subsequent micropatterning via electron and ion beams, as well as via YAG laser irradiation.
For particular interest in applications where chemical inertness, biocompatibility and enhanced osteointegration is desired, we have developed a spark anodization process for Ti and Ti-alloys, resulting in a novel oxide morphology very different from the well-known micro/nano porous oxides on Ti-like materials. These crystalline oxides feature increased open porosity and chemical purity with respect to harmful substrate elements (V, Al, etc).
Advanced chemical and topographical surface patterning of metals is achieved via a combination of maskless (3D) UV lithography and through-mask electrochemical micromachining. This novel approach allows for creation of precise and almost ideal topographies in the micro- to macro range for use in biological cell studies, microfluidics and stamping applications.
Contact: Johann Michler