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Open AccessArticle

Antibacterial Functionalization of PVD Coatings on Ceramics

Centro de Ingeniería Avanzada de Superficies, Asociación de la Industria Navarra, Carretera de Pamplona 1, 31191 Cordovilla, Spain
Departamento de Ingeniería, Universidad Pública de Navarra—UPNA, Campus Arrosadía s/n, 31006 Pamplona, Spain
INAMAT Institute for Advanced Materials, Universidad Pública de Navarra—UPNA, Campus Arrosadía s/n, 31006 Pamplona, Spain
Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Coatings 2018, 8(5), 197;
Received: 31 March 2018 / Revised: 14 May 2018 / Accepted: 17 May 2018 / Published: 22 May 2018
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Physical Vapor Deposition)
PDF [3993 KB, uploaded 24 May 2018]


The application of surface treatments that incorporate silver or copper as antibacterial elements has become a common practice for a wide variety of medical devices and materials because of their effective activity against nosocomial infections. Ceramic tiles are choice materials for cladding the floors and walls of operation rooms and other hospital spaces. This study is focused on the deposition of biocide physical vapor deposition (PVD) coatings on glazed ceramic tiles. The objective was to provide antibacterial activity to the surfaces without worsening their mechanical properties. Silver and copper-doped chromium nitride (CrN) and titanium nitride (TiN) coatings were deposited on samples of tiles. A complete characterization was carried out in order to determine the composition and structure of the coatings, as well as their topographical and mechanical properties. The distribution of Ag and Cu within the coating was analyzed using glow discharge optical emission spectrometry (GD-OES) and field emission scanning electron microscope (FE-SEM). Roughness, microhardness, and scratch resistance were measured for all of the combinations of coatings and dopants, as well as their wettability. Finally, tests of antibacterial efficacy against Staphylococcus aureus and Escherichia coli were carried out, showing that all of the doped coatings had pronounced biocide activity. View Full-Text
Keywords: silver; copper; TiN; CrN; ceramic tiles silver; copper; TiN; CrN; ceramic tiles

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This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited (CC BY 4.0).

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MDPI and ACS Style

Osés, J.; Fuentes, G.G.; Palacio, J.F.; Esparza, J.; García, J.A.; Rodríguez, R. Antibacterial Functionalization of PVD Coatings on Ceramics. Coatings 2018, 8, 197.

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