Hydroxyapatite (HA) ceramics were synthesized using a sol-gel route with triethyl phosphite and calcium nitrate as phosphorus and calcium precursors, respectively. Two solvents, water and anhydrous ethanol, were used as diluting media for HA sol preparation. The sols were stable and no gelling occurred in ambient environment for over 5 days. The sols became a white gel only after removal of the solvents at 60°C. X-ray diffraction showed that apatitic structure first appeared at a temperature as low as 350°C. The crystal size and the HA content in both gels increase with increasing calcination temperature. The type of initial diluting media (i.e., water vs. anhydrous ethanol) did not affect the microstructural evolution and crystallinity of the resulting HA ceramic. The ethanol-based sol dip-coated onto a Ti substrate, followed by calcination at 450°C, was found to be porous with pore size ranging from 0.3 to 1μm. This morphology is beneficial to the circulation of physiological fluid when the coating is used for biomedical applications. The satisfactory adhesion between the coating and substrate suggests its suitability for load-bearing uses.
- Dip coating
- Sol-gel synthesis