Titanium-based alloys are known as a "gold standard" in the field of implantable devices. Mg-based alloys, in turn, are very promising biocompatible material for biodegradable, temporary implants. However, the clinical application of Mg-based alloys is currently limited due to the rapid resorption rate in the human body. The deposition of a barrier layer in the form of bioactive calcium phosphate coating is proposed to decelerate Mg-based alloys resorption. The dissolution rate of calcium phosphates is strongly affected by their crystallinity and structure. The structure of antibacterial Cu- and Zn-substituted hydroxyapatite deposited by an radiofrequency (RF) magnetron sputtering on Ti and Mg-Ca substrates is tailored by post-deposition heat treatment and deposition at increased substrate temperatures. It is established that upon an increase in heat treatment temperature mean crystallite size decreases from 47 ± 17 to 13 ± 9 nm. The character of the crystalline structure is not only governed by the temperature itself but relies on the condition such as either post-deposition treatment, where an amorphous calcium phosphate undergoes crystallization or instantaneous crystalline coating growth during deposition on the hot substrate. A higher treatment temperature at 700 °C results in local coating micro-cracking and induced defects, while the temperature of 400-450 °C resulted in the formation of dense, void-free structure.
Keywords: RF-magnetron sputtering; TEM; annealing; biomaterials; calcium phosphate.