Surface Morphology Analysis of Composite Thin Films based on Titanium-Dioxide Nanoparticles
Ş. Ţălu a, M. Bramowicz b, S. Kulesza c, F. Pignatelli d and M. Salernoe
aTechnical University of Cluj-Napoca, Faculty of Mechanical Engineering, Department of AET, Discipline of Descriptive Geometry and Engineering Graphics, 103-105 B-dul Muncii St., Cluj-Napoca 400641, Cluj, Romania
bUniversity of Warmia and Mazury in Olsztyn, Faculty of Technical Sciences, M. Oczapowskiego 11, 10-719 Olsztyn, Poland
cUniversity of Warmia and Mazury in Olsztyn, Faculty of Mathematics and Computer Science, Sloneczna 54, 10-710 Olsztyn, Poland
dCenter for Micro-BioRobotics, Istituto Italiano di Tecnologia, viale Rinaldo Piaggio 34, I-56025 Pontedera (Pisa), Italy
eIstituto Italiano di Tecnologia, Materials Characterization Facility, via Morego 30, I-16163 Genova, Italy
Received: December 14, 2016; In final form: March 14, 2017
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This study addressed the advanced micro-morphological characterization of 3D surfaces of thin films based on composites of an organic matrix of poly-methyl-methacrylate and inorganic titanium-dioxide nanocrystals. The films were prepared by spin-coating of a series of solutions with increasing loading concentration of the nanocrystals, from 5 up to 40% by weight. The film surfaces were investigated by atomic force microscopy, and the resulting images were analyzed in detail to obtain a full quantitative description of their surface micro-morphology. The fractal analysis of the surface roughness was used to extract the characteristics of amplitude, spatial distribution, and pattern. A fractal geometry was indeed observed, and the corresponding fractal dimension D was determined for all the samples. In view of the possible use of these thin films as functional coatings, the calculated quantities are discussed with respect to the foreseen durability of these surfaces during operation under wear.

DOI: 10.12693/APhysPolA.131.1529
PACS numbers: 68.37.Ps,, 68.35.Ct,, 62.23.Pq