Journal of Dental Sciences
Although the effect of experimental surface modifications on various properties (e.g., fatigue, wear) on coated files have been tested in the past, there is no report for the coating quality of commercially available TiN coated files. The aim of this study was to characterize the surface and cross section of TiN coated endodontic files.
Materials and methods
TiN coated nickel–titanium endodontic files (EasyShape) were surface and cross-sectionally analyzed via scanning electron microscopy backscattered electron imaging and energy-dispersive X-ray spectroscopy analysis in spot, area, and line scan modes.
Surface imaging revealed parallel oblong regions with higher mean atomic contrast, a finding attributed to increased Ni content. Cross-sectional analysis showed that the coating’s average total thickness was 0.31 μm and consisted of a thin layered film. Energy-dispersive X-ray spectroscopy analysis revealed the presence of Ti, Ni, N, and O in the coating, whereas only Ni and Ti were identified in the bulk of the file. Ti and O showed their peak compositions at the bulk/coating and coating/surface interfaces, respectively, whereas N displayed a rather constant content within the coated region. The N and O contents started increasing inner to the coating/bulk interface, denoting possible diffusion of both elements to the subcoating region.
Surface and bulk characterization showed no uncoated areas of the files tested. Apart from Ti, Ni, and N, oxygen was also identified within the coating region.
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