Applied Surface Science, Vol.443, 467-474, 2018
Investigations into the structure of PEO-layers for understanding of layer formation
Plasma electrolytic oxidation (PEO) is a type of high-voltage anodic oxidation process capable of producing a thick oxide layer with a wide variety of structural and chemical properties influenced by the electrolytic system. This process enables the combined adjustment of various characteristics, i.e. the morphology and chemical composition. The procedure facilitates the possibility of generating an individual structure as well as forming a crystalline surface in a single step. A highly porous surface with a high crystalline content consisting of titanium dioxide phases is ensured through the process of plasma electrolytic oxidizing pure titanium. In the present study plasma electrolytic oxidized TiO2-layers were investigated regarding their crystallinity through the layer thickness. The layers were prepared with a high applied voltage of 280 V to obtain a PEO-layer with highly crystalline anatase and rutile amounts. Raman spectroscopy and electron backscatter diffraction (EBSD) were selected to clarify the structure of the oxide layer with regard to its crystallinity and phase composition. The composition of the TiO2-phases is more or less irregularly distributed as a result of the higher energy input on the uppermost side of the layer. Scanning transmission electron microscopy (STEM) provided a deeper understanding of the structure and the effects of plasma discharges on the layer. It was observed that the plasma discharges have a strong influence on crystallite formation on top of the oxide layer and also at the boundary layer to the titanium substrate. Therefore, small crystallites of TiO2 could be detected in these regions. In addition, it was shown that amorphous TiO2 phases are formed around the characteristic pore structures, which allows the conclusion to be drawn that a rapid cooling from the gas phase had to take place in these areas. (C) 2018 Elsevier B.V. All rights reserved.