Surface modification for enhanced silanation of zirconia ceramics.

Journal Article (Journal Article)


The overall goal of this research was to develop a practical method to chemically modify the surface of high strength dental ceramics (i.e. zirconia) to facilitate viable, robust adhesive bonding using commercially available silanes and resin cements.


Investigation focused on a novel approach to surface functionalize zirconia with a Si(x)O(y) "seed" layer that would promote chemical bonding with traditional silanes. ProCAD and ZirCAD blocks were bonded to a dimensionally similar composite block using standard techniques designed for silica-containing materials (silane and resin cement). ZirCAD blocks were treated with SiCl4 by vapor deposition under two different conditions prior to bonding. Microtensile bars were prepared and subjected to tensile forces at a crosshead speed of 1 mm/min scanning electron microscopy was used to analyze fracture surfaces and determine failure mode; either composite cohesive failure (partial or complete cohesive failure within composite) or adhesive failure (partial or complete adhesive failure).


Peak stress values were analyzed using single-factor ANOVA (p<0.05). Microtensile testing results revealed that zirconia with a surface treatment of 2.6 nm Si(x)O(y) thick "seed" layer was similar in strength to the porcelain group (control). Analysis of failure modes indicated the above groups displayed higher percentages of in-composite failures. Other groups tested had lower strength values and displayed adhesive failure characteristics.


Mechanical data support that utilizing a gas-phase chloro-silane pretreatment to deposit ultra-thin silica-like seed layers can improve adhesion to zirconia using traditional silanation and bonding techniques. This technology could have clinical impact on how high strength dental materials are used today.

Full Text

Duke Authors

Cited Authors

  • Piascik, JR; Swift, EJ; Thompson, JY; Grego, S; Stoner, BR

Published Date

  • September 2009

Published In

Volume / Issue

  • 25 / 9

Start / End Page

  • 1116 - 1121

PubMed ID

  • 19376572

Pubmed Central ID

  • PMC2720441

Electronic International Standard Serial Number (EISSN)

  • 1879-0097

International Standard Serial Number (ISSN)

  • 0109-5641

Digital Object Identifier (DOI)

  • 10.1016/


  • eng