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Formation and morphology control of nanostructures produced by PIII

Shevchenko, N.; Weber, J.; Kolitsch, A.


Development of novel materials and structures for drug delivery systems is currently a very active field of research. For bare metal stents the in-stent restenosis was a serious problem for about 25 - 35% of the patients and this spurred the medical device companies to come up with a solution. Recently the drug-eluting stents were designed to deliver a drug locally from a surface layer to reduce restenosis.
High-fluence ion implantation of noble gas ions into metals can be used to create porous layers on metal surface. These void structures may show unique characteristics which offer potential for drug-eluting stents application. This application requires interconnected pores with the dimension in the range on the nano- to microscale.
The aim of the present work is to study the formation of nanostructures on stainless steel surfaces by means of plasma immersion ion implantation (PIII) using different noble gases. Argon and/or helium ion implantation was performed at following parameters: ion energies ranging from 5 to 35 keV, ion fluence of more than 1e18 cm-2, substrate temperature in the range 50 – 400°C. The modified steel surfaces have been analyzed by scanning electron microscopy, grazing incidence X-ray diffraction analysis (GIXRD), X-ray photoelectron spectroscopy, and elastic recoil detection analysis.
Varying the ion energy, fluences, and substrate temperature has been found to produce either void or sponge like structures on the nano- (~10 nm) to micro-scale (~1 µm). Argon PIII treatment at elevated temperatures leads to spongy structure formation (Fig. 1). Helium implantation results in a surface roughening and creation of voids in high concentration with size in the range 100 – 200 nm as well as nano-scale cavities (5-20 nm) (Fig. 2). Apart from the austenite iron peaks, the GIXRD patterns of the implanted samples display weak peaks of ferrite (bcc iron) as well as oxide phases.

Keywords: plasma immersion ion implantation; noble gases; void structures; modified steel surfaces

  • Lecture (Conference)
    Workshop: Beschichtung für Biotechnologie und Medizintechnik, 16.-17.10.2007, Dresden, Germany


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