Biocompatible coatings produced on the basis of the chemically extracted natural hydroxyapatite (HAp) from the animal bones were deposited using multiplex method comprising glow discharge nitriding (GDN) of the titanium alloy substrate and pulsed laser deposition (PLD) of HAp on the formerly fabricated titanium nitride layer (TiN). The TiN interlayer plays an important role improving adhesion of HAp to substrate and preserves the direct contact of the tissue with metallic substrate in the case of possible cracking of HAp coating. Surface morphology of deposited layers, crystallographic texture and residual stress were studied in relation to the type of laser applied to ablation (Nd:YAG or ArF excimer), laser repetition, temperature of substrate and atmosphere in the reactive chamber.
Titanium nitride (TiN) is regarded as a potential biomaterial for blood-contact applications. TiN thin films were fabricated by pulsed laser deposition with the Nd:YAG laser on biologically applied polyurethane. Transmission electron microscopy (TEM) study of 250 nm thick films revealed columnar structure. Such films were observed to be brittle, which led to crack formation and secondary nucleation of microcolumn. TEM studies showed a kinetic mechanism of growth (columnar) in films of 250 nm thickness. It was stated that thinner films were much smoother and uniform than the thicker ones, which could be associated with the surface diffusion mechanism to appear. In order to improve the coatings elasticity, the thickness was reduced to 50 nm, which limited the deposition mechanism operation to the early stage. TEM cross-section observation revealed elastic properties of thin films. A biological test showed that TiN surface film produced on polyurethane is characterized by good biocompatibility and decreased surface affinity for cell adhesion. Films of 0.25 and 0.5 1m thick of TiN were selected for theoretical finite element modelling (FEM) using ADINA program. The micro cracks formation predicted in simulation was verified by phenomena observed in microstructure examinations.