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Raman spectroscopy: new light on ancient artefacts

Peter Vandenabeele (UGent) and Luc Moens (UGent)
Author
Organization
Abstract
Raman spectroscopy, being a laser spectroscopic method, is gaining increasingly more interest for applications in the field of art and archaeology. The technique is especially appreciated for its non-destructive character, the speed of analysis and the ability to obtain molecular information on a whole range of materials, organic as well as inorganic. Although the Raman effect was observed for the first time in 1928, it was not until the end of the 1980s before instrumental improvements enabled the analysis of micro-samples, and thus allowing the application of this method in archaeometry. Next to the identification of inorganic materials, organic matter, such as resins and binders, has often been examined by using Raman spectroscopy. Together with the comparison to reference spectra, spectral interpretation is often involved to attribute the Raman bands to specific molecular vibrations. This is mainly of importance when studying archaeological materials that have suffered degradation over time. Recently fibre optics instrumentation became available for the direct and non-destructive analysis of artefacts. Although the approach seems simple and easy to apply, there are several drawbacks that need our attention. For instance, due to the different nature of a mediaeval manuscript, mediaeval wall paintings on the vault of a chapel, panel paintings and polychrome sculptures, different experimental set-ups are needed to deal with the diversity of artefacts. Moreover, these set-ups need to guarantee sufficient stability to allow focusing of the laser beam on the artefact.
Keywords
PAINTINGS, ART

Citation

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Chicago
Vandenabeele, Peter, and Luc Moens. 2007. “Raman Spectroscopy: New Light on Ancient Artefacts.” In Springer Proceedings in Physics, ed. J Nimmrichter, W Kautek, and M Schreiner, 116:341–347. Berlin, Germany: Springer Verlag.
APA
Vandenabeele, P., & Moens, L. (2007). Raman spectroscopy: new light on ancient artefacts. In J. Nimmrichter, W. Kautek, & M. Schreiner (Eds.), Springer Proceedings in Physics (Vol. 116, pp. 341–347). Presented at the 6th International conference on Lasers in the Conservation of Artworks (LACONA VI), Berlin, Germany: Springer Verlag.
Vancouver
1.
Vandenabeele P, Moens L. Raman spectroscopy: new light on ancient artefacts. In: Nimmrichter J, Kautek W, Schreiner M, editors. Springer Proceedings in Physics. Berlin, Germany: Springer Verlag; 2007. p. 341–7.
MLA
Vandenabeele, Peter, and Luc Moens. “Raman Spectroscopy: New Light on Ancient Artefacts.” Springer Proceedings in Physics. Ed. J Nimmrichter, W Kautek, & M Schreiner. Vol. 116. Berlin, Germany: Springer Verlag, 2007. 341–347. Print.
@inproceedings{710941,
  abstract     = {Raman spectroscopy, being a laser spectroscopic method, is gaining increasingly more interest for applications in the field of art and archaeology. The technique is especially appreciated for its non-destructive character, the speed of analysis and the ability to obtain molecular information on a whole range of materials, organic as well as inorganic. Although the Raman effect was observed for the first time in 1928, it was not until the end of the 1980s before instrumental improvements enabled the analysis of micro-samples, and thus allowing the application of this method in archaeometry. Next to the identification of inorganic materials, organic matter, such as resins and binders, has often been examined by using Raman spectroscopy. Together with the comparison to reference spectra, spectral interpretation is often involved to attribute the Raman bands to specific molecular vibrations. This is mainly of importance when studying archaeological materials that have suffered degradation over time. Recently fibre optics instrumentation became available for the direct and non-destructive analysis of artefacts. Although the approach seems simple and easy to apply, there are several drawbacks that need our attention. For instance, due to the different nature of a mediaeval manuscript, mediaeval wall paintings on the vault of a chapel, panel paintings and polychrome sculptures, different experimental set-ups are needed to deal with the diversity of artefacts. Moreover, these set-ups need to guarantee sufficient stability to allow focusing of the laser beam on the artefact.},
  author       = {Vandenabeele, Peter and Moens, Luc},
  booktitle    = {Springer Proceedings in Physics},
  editor       = {Nimmrichter, J and Kautek, W and Schreiner, M},
  isbn         = {9783540721291},
  issn         = {0930-8989},
  keyword      = {PAINTINGS,ART},
  language     = {eng},
  location     = {Vienna, Austria},
  pages        = {341--347},
  publisher    = {Springer Verlag},
  title        = {Raman spectroscopy: new light on ancient artefacts},
  volume       = {116},
  year         = {2007},
}

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