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Synchrotron UV−Visible Multispectral Luminescence Microimaging of Historical Samples

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Scientific Research Department, National Gallery of Art, Fourth and Constitution Avenue NW, Washington D.C. 20565, United States
Laboratoire de Recherche et de Restauration, Musée de la Musique, Cité de la musique, 221 avenue Jean Jaurès, F-75019 Paris, France
§ Synchrotron SOLEIL, DISCO Beamline, BP48 Saint-Aubin F-91192 Gif-sur-Yvette cedex, France
Dipartimento di Fisica, Politecnico di Milano, Piazza Leonardo da Vinci 32, Milano, 20133, Italy
IFN-CNR, Piazza di Leonardo da Vinci 32, Milano, 20133, Italy
# IPANEMA UPS 3352 CNRS, Synchrotron SOLEIL, BP48 Saint-Aubin, F-91192 Gif-sur-Yvette cedex, France
Centre de Recherche sur la Conservation des Collections, Muséum National d’Histoire Naturelle, UMR 7188 CNRS, CP 21 36 rue Geoffroy Saint-Hilaire, F-75005 Paris, France
Cite this: Anal. Chem. 2011, 83, 5, 1737–1745
Publication Date (Web):February 3, 2011
Copyright © 2011 American Chemical Society

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    Abstract Image

    UV−visible luminescence techniques are fre-quently used for the study of cultural heritage materials, despite their limitations for identification and discrimination in the case of complex heterogeneous materials. In contrast to tabletop setups, two methods based on the vacuum ultraviolet (VUV)−UV−visible emission generated at a bending magnet of a synchrotron source are described. The main advantages of the source are the extended wavelength range attained, the continuous tunability of the source, and its brightness, leading to a submicrometer lateral resolution. Raster-scanning microspectroscopy and full-field microimaging were implemented and tested at the DISCO beamline (synchrotron SOLEIL, France). Investigative measurements were performed on a sample from a varnished musical instrument and a paint sample containing the pigment zinc white (ZnO) in order to illustrate some of the challenges analyzing heterogeneous cultural heritage cross-section samples with the novel imaging approach. The data sets obtained proved useful for mapping organic materials at the submicrometer scale and visualizing heterogeneities of the semiconductor pigment material. We propose and discuss the combined use of raster-scanning microspectroscopy and full-field microimaging in an integrated analytical methodology. Synchrotron UV luminescence appears as a novel tool for identification of craftsmen’s and artists’ materials and techniques and to assess the condition of artifacts, from the precise identification and localization of luminescent materials.

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