Effect of alloy addition and growth conditions on the formation of Mg-based bioabsorbable thin films

Sean M. Pursel, John D. Petrilli, Mark William Horn, Barbara Shaw

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingConference contribution


Magnesium is an essential mineral in the human body and has recently been studied as a bioabsorbable material for use in cardiac stents. New areas of application can be found in bone plates, bone screws, and orthopedic implants. Magnesium alone has a corrosion rate much too high for use in such applications and has been alloyed with various elements to improve corrosion resistance. The use of vapor deposition to create Mg alloys for the above applications has not been attempted although certain properties of non-equilibrium alloys, namely corrosion resistance, can be improved. Using vapor deposition the characterization of the growth of magnesium alloy thin films has been done utilizing various alloying elements, substrate temperatures, post-deposition treatments, and substrate positions. The results point towards a growth mode controlled by crystallization of the Mg. Mg Sculptured thin films (STFs) are used to demonstrate these effects and potential solutions while also providing a route to control nanoscale surface morphology to enhance cell growth, cell attachment, and absorption properties. The results of the study are presented in terms of x-ray diffraction data, microscopy analysis of growth evolution, and corrosion testing. This magnesium alloy research utilizes a dual source deposition method that has also provided insight about some of the growth modes of other alloy STFs. Engineering of surface morphology using dip coatings and etching has been used in biomedical materials to enhance certain application specific surface properties. STF technology potentially provides a path to merge the advantages of non-equilibrium alloy formation and engineering nanoscale surface morphology.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Title of host publicationNanostructured Thin Films
StatePublished - Nov 21 2008
EventNanostructured Thin Films - San Diego, CA, United States
Duration: Aug 13 2008Aug 14 2008


OtherNanostructured Thin Films
Country/TerritoryUnited States
CitySan Diego, CA

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Computer Science Applications
  • Electrical and Electronic Engineering
  • Electronic, Optical and Magnetic Materials
  • Applied Mathematics
  • Condensed Matter Physics


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