Superficial modifications in TiO2 and Al2O3 ceramics
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The properties of hydrophilicity or hydrophobicity of materials are defined mainly, though not exclusively, by their composition, morphology and surface energy. In this work, titanium dioxide (TiO2) and aluminum oxide-alumina (Al2O3) ceramics prepared by uniaxial pressing were studied in terms of surface energy. The surfaces of these ceramics were treated with nitrogen plasma, using a stainless steel reactor excited by a 13,6 MHz radio frequency operating at 50 W input power and 13 Pa nitrogen pressure. The surface morphology was investigated by scanning electron microscopy (SEM) analysis. Surface energy and contact angle measurements were taken using a RAMÉ-HART goniometer. These measurements were taken as function of time, over a 21-day period. The contact angle and surface energy values were found to change by almost 34% in comparison to their initial values immediately following plasma treatment. Nonetheless, the hydrophilic character of the Al2O3 and TiO2 remained constant throughout the test period.
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