The use of composite materials for different and diverse technological applications is a growing field. The development of this class of materials arises when it is required from a material a combination of properties that are impossible to co-exist, such as, for example, high hardness and good tenacity. However, in some applications the main focus of this combination of characteristics/properties is only required at the material surface; in this cases, the composite will be deposited onto the surface as a coating. Moreover, the introduction of reinforcements of nanometric size, where one of the dimensions is lower than 100 nm, may induce, in the deposited composite, particularly appealing properties due to the nanometric scale. This chapter presents the use of a particular deposition technique—sputtering—for the production of nanocomposites made of dissimilar materials such as ceramic/metal, ceramic/polymer and ceramic/polymer/metal. The application of these surfaces in interaction with both eukaryotic and prokaryotic cells will be given as an example of the broad range of applications of the developed surfaces.
Part of the book: Nanocomposites
A material that presents both the appropriate set of bulk properties in conjunction with an optimal surface performance is hardly found. For this reason, there is the need of modifying its surface. This is a standard procedure in many application fields but particularly important in the medical and environmental research. In this chapter, we describe the use of sputtering, as the chosen technology for the deposition of thin films. The use of the modified surfaces in the medical and environmental fields will be highlighted by two case studies in each one. In biomedicine, the surface modification of medical invasive devices for orthopedic and neural applications will be presented. For the environmental aspect, the results of two bioremediation tools, for arsenic and uranium removal, based on the immobilization of bacterial cells will be discussed.
Part of the book: Methods for Film Synthesis and Coating Procedures