Laser induced surface structuring and ion conversion in the surface oxide of titanium: possible implications for the wetability of laser treated implants
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In the present study, commercially pure titanium was irradiated with UV-light with varying wavelengths using a Q-switched Nd:YAG-laser. This was performed in order to investigate if a laser treatment can be employed to rapidly introduce hydrophilic properties to titanium surfaces, which is believed to facilitate protein adsorption and cell attachment. It was demonstrated that irradiation with 355 nm light (10 Hz, 90 mJ/shot) for 1 min or more caused an ion conversion of Ti4+ to Ti3+ sites in the surface oxide which lead to an increase in hydrophilicity of the surface. Furthermore, shorter irradiation times at 355 nm caused a surface structuring that gave rise to an unexpected and unstable hydrophobic state at the surface. Irradiation with 266 nm light (10 Hz, 40 mJ/shot) did not introduce any ion conversion in the surface oxide, nor did it give rise to any hydrophobicity of the surface.
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