The effects of discharge radiofrequency (RF) power and film thickness were studied on the characteristics of Ca5(PO4)3OH (hydroxyapatite) thin films fabricated by RF magnetron sputtering. The structure and chemical composition were investigated with a-step (thickness), scanning electron microscopy (SEM), X-ray diffraction (XRD), Rutherford backscattering spectrometry (RBS), and infrared absorption spectrometry (FTIR). The films were analyzed as-sputtered and after annealing at 550°C under argon flow. SEM showed that the film surfaces had no cracks or other defects. X-ray diffraction showed that the deposited films were amorphous with low-discharge RF power, and crystalline with high-discharge RF power. After annealing, all the films had the same crystalline structure as apatite. However, the RBS measurements revealed that all films had a higher calcium-phosphate ratio than standard synthetic hydroxyapatite. Furthermore, statistical testing of the RBS data revealed the existence of only a weak correlation between the Ca/P ratio and the discharge power level. Although all sputtered films showed phosphate bonds in the infrared spectrum, only after annealing did the OH bonds of hydroxyapatite become visible.

J. Biomed. Mat. Res.

van Dijk, K, Schaeken, H. G, Wolke, J. C. G, Mar, C. H. M, Habraken, F. H. P. M, Verhoeven, J, & Jansen, J. A. (1995). Influence of discharge power level on the properties of hydroxyapatite films deposited on Ti6A14V with RF magnetron sputtering. J. Biomed. Mat. Res., 29, 269–276.