Confocal Raman microscopy for in depth analysis in the field of cultural heritage

Year: 2011

Authors: Lorenzetti G., Striova J., Zoppi A., Castellucci E.M.

Autors Affiliation: Univ Florence, Dept Chem, I-50019 Sesto Fiorentino, Fi, Italy; Ist Conservaz & Valorizzaz Beni Culturali CNR, I-50019 Sesto Fiorentino, Fi, Italy

Abstract: In the field of cultural heritage, the main concern when a sample is analyzed is its safeguard, and this means that non-destructive techniques are required. In this work, we show how confocal Raman microscopy (CRM) may be successfully applied in the study of works of art as a valuable alternative to other well established techniques. CRM with a metallurgical objective was tested for the in depth study of thin samples that are of interest in the field of cultural heritage. The sensitivity of the instrumentation was first evaluated by analyzing single layers of pure polyethylene terephthalate (PET) films having a thickness of 12, 25, and 50 mu m, respectively, and a multilayer sample of polypropylene (PP) and polyethylene (PE). Subsequently, the technique was applied to the analysis of historical dyed cotton yarns in order to check whether it was possible to achieve a better discrimination of the fibres\’s signals for an easier identification. A substantial improvement of the signal to noise ratio was found in the confocal arrangement with respect to the non-confocal one, suggesting the use of this technique for this kind of analysis in the field of cultural heritage. Furthermore, Raman spectroscopy in confocal configuration was exploited in the evaluation of cleaning performed on the mural painting specimens, treated with acrylic resin (Paraloid B72). Confocal Raman experiments were performed before and after laser cleaning (at different conditions) in order to monitor the presence and to approximate the polymer thickness: the method proved to be a valid comparative tool in assessment of cleaning efficiencies. (C) 2011 Elsevier B.V. All rights reserved.

Journal/Review: JOURNAL OF MOLECULAR STRUCTURE

Volume: 993      Pages from: 97  to: 103

KeyWords: Confocal Raman microspectroscopy; dry objective; paraloid consolidant; dyed textile; cleaning efficiency
DOI: 10.1016/j.molstruc.2010.12.057

Citations: 15
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