Porous TiO 2 layer was fabricated on the surface of commercially pure titanium using an anodic spark oxidation technique for biomedical application, and subsequent hot water treatment was performed to modify the resultant oxide layer. The microstructure features and shear fracture characteristics of anodic oxide layer before and after water treatment were investigated. Results show that before water treatment, the oxide layer exhibited a porous surface with few nanometer features and consisted of poorly crystallized oxides, and an inner layer containing numerous cavities was observed near the oxide-substrate interface. After water treatment, the crystallinity degree of oxide layer was increased significantly and a nanostructured surface layer was obtained. The shear fracture characteristics of oxide layer were greatly influenced by its microstructure features. Before water treatment, the shear fracture took place primarily within the cavity-containing layer, resulting in a pitted fracture surface on the substrate side. However, after water treatment, the shear fracture occurred mainly along the bottom surface of nanostructured surface layer and the shear strength of oxide layer decreased obviously.
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