Compositions of Surface Layers Formed on Amalgams in Air, Water, and Saline

Takao Hanawa, Bruce E. Gnade, Jack L. Ferracane, Toru Okabe, Fumio Watari

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

4 Scopus citations


The surface layers formed on both a zinc-free and a zinc-containing dental amalgam after polishing and aging in air, water, or saline, were characterized using x-ray photoelectron spectroscopy (XPS) to determine the compositions of the surface layers which might govern the release of mercury from amalgam. The XPS data revealed that the formation of the surface layer on the zinc-containing amalgam was affected by the environment in which the amalgam was polished and aged, whereas that on the zinc-free amalgam was not affected. In addition, among the elements contained in amalgam, zinc was the most reactive with the environment, and was preferentially dissolved from amalgam into water or saline. Mercury atoms existed in the metallic state in the surface layer.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)118-126272
Number of pages126155
JournalDental materials journal
Issue number2
StatePublished - 1993


  • Dental amalgam
  • Environment
  • Surface layer

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Ceramics and Composites
  • Dentistry(all)


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