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The electrochemical oxide growth behaviour on titanium in acid and alkaline electrolytes.

Journal article
Authors Young-Taeg Sul
Carina B. Johansson
Yongsoo Jeong
Tomas Albrektsson
Published in Medical Engineering & Physics
Volume 23
Issue 5
Pages 329-46
ISSN 1350-4533
Publication year 2001
Published at Institute of Surgical Sciences, Department of Biomaterials
Pages 329-46
Language en
Keywords Titanium implants; Anodic oxidation; Oxide growth behaviours; Electrochemical parameters
Subject categories Surface engineering, Biomaterials


Titanium implants have a thin oxide surface layer. The properties of this oxide layer may explain the good biocompatibility of titanium implants. Anodic oxidation results in a thickening of the oxide film, with possible improved biocompatability of anodized implants. The aim of the present study was twofold: (1) firstly, to characterize the growth behaviour of galvanostatically prepared anodic oxide films on commercially pure (c.p.) titanium and (2) secondly, to establish a better understanding of the electroche0mical growth behaviour of anodic oxide on commercially pure titanium (ASTM grade 1) after changes of the electrochemical parameters in acetic acid, phosphoric acid, calcium hydroxide, and sodium hydroxide under galvanostatic anodizing mode. The oxide thickness was measured by Ar sputter etching in Auger Electron spectroscopy (AES) and the colours were estimated by an L*a*b* system (lightness, hue and saturation) using a spectrophotometer. In the first part of our study, it was demonstrated that the interference colours were useful to identify the thickness of titanium oxide. It was also found that the anodic forming voltages with slope (dV/dt) in acid electrolytes were higher than in alkaline electrolytes. Each of the used electrolytes demonstrates an intrinsically specific growth constant (nm/V) in the range of 1.4--2.78 nm/V. In the second part of our study we found, as a general trend, that an increase of electrolyte concentration and electrolyte temperature respectively decreases the anodic forming voltage, the anodic forming rate (nm/s) and the current efficiency (, while an increase of the current density and the surface area ratio of the anode to cathode increase the anodic forming voltage, the anodic forming rate and the current efficiency. The effects of electrolyte concentration, electrolyte temperature, and agitation speed were explained on the basis of the model of the electrical double layer.

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