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Volume 16 , Issue 2
March/April 2001

Pages 163181

Wavelength-Dependent Roughness: A Quantitative Approach to Characterizing the Topography of Rough Titanium Surfaces

Marco Wieland, PhD, Marcus Textor, PhD, Nicholas D. Spencer, PhD, Donald M. Brunette, PhD

PMID: 11324205

Topographies of grit-blasted, etched, grit-blasted and etched, and microfabricated and etched surfaces of commercially pure titanium have been investigated. Such surface topographies vary across the scale range of interest for dental implants, extending from nanometers to millimeters. The complete characterization of topography requires the use of complementary methods. This study compared the topographic characterization methods of non-contact laser profilometry, interference microscopy, stereo-scanning electron microscopy (stereo-SEM), and atomic force microscopy. Non-contact laser profilometry was shown to be a useful method to characterize topographic features in the micron to millimeter range, whereas interference microscopy and stereo-SEM can be employed down to the submicron range. Stereo-SEM is particularly useful for quantifying topographies with complex, strongly corrugated (sharp), and high-aspect-ratio features and was shown to be complementary to non-contact laser profilometry and interference microscopy. Because of tip-related envelope problems, atomic force microscopy was not found to be suitable for the type of surfaces investigated in this study. Independent of the method used, the commonly used integral amplitude roughness parameters, such as Ra, Rq, or Rt, were often of limited value in the description of actual implant surfaces. The application of the wavelength-dependent roughness approach was shown to be an effective method for the description of surface topographies in the complete range of characteristic roughness and is also a useful means of examining the effects of surface treatment processes. (INT J ORAL MAXILLOFAC IMPLANTS 2001;16:163181)

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