Date of Award


Degree Name

Master of Science


Civil and Construction Engineering

First Advisor

Dr. Pnina Ari-Gur

Second Advisor

Dr. John B. Miller

Third Advisor

Dr. Paul D. Fleming III

Access Setting

Masters Thesis-Open Access


Titanium and its alloys have been used extensively in orthopedic implants mainly because of its excellent biocompatibility. This biocompatibility is attributed to its surface oxide film (3-7 nm thickness) that forms immediately upon exposure of titanium to air. In the research, the oxidation of Ti-6Al-4V in alpha-calf serum solution was studied. Four different immersion times were tested. Characterization of surface topography and its chemical composition was examined using Atomic force microscopy (AFM), Fourier transform-infrared radiation (FT-IR), and X-ray photoelectron spectroscopy (XPS). The AFM results clearly show the gradual change that occurred in the samples topography which is associated with more-rounded surface topography that is caused by the hydration of titanium surfaces. Finally, after three months in the serum solution, hydrated titanium oxide surface is visible. XPS results, for the as-polished sample after thirty seconds of surface sputtering, shows TiO2 and Ti2O3 through out of its surface. With the increased immersion time, surface is predominantly composed of TiO2 and sub-oxides of Ti2O3 and TiO which is associated with the further oxidation of Ti2O3 to TiO2. As a result, XPS results showed that, immersion of Ti-6Al-4V in alpha calf serum solution changes the topography of the surface and the oxidation level of titanium.