cave painting, framed painting, and vase scanned with raman spectrometer

Conservation

Art and archaeological conservation and study can prove to be extremely difficult due to years of decay and neglect, making it hard to create an accurate history of artifacts. Portable Raman spectroscopy, partnered with techniques such as X-ray fluorescence and diffuse reflectance has gained wide acceptance as a technique for studying and identifying art and artifacts from past decades. These techniques have uncovered discoveries in prehistoric paintings on rock walls, such as discerning what the images are and providing crucial information to scientifically date the crusts and rock art itself. Raman can be used to study organics and inorganics – both are present in paints, pigments, and architectural materials. Portability allows the user to maintain the integrity of important heritage sites, and is in line with requirements of conservationists working to understand the origins of objects without the need to move them, and with minimal invasion.

Enhanced Raman technology has allowed us to study the results of biological activity in ancient environments and human cultural heritage as reflected in art and artifacts. Raman spectroscopy also serves as an important tool in identifying art forgeries, as natural and synthetic pigments and can be identified and differentiated.

Products

i-Raman®

High Resolution TE Cooled Fiber Optic Raman System

i-Raman® high resolution Raman spectrometer by B&W Tek

i-Raman® Plus

Highly Sensitive, High Resolution Fiber Optic Raman System

i-raman_plus200

i-Raman® Pro

Deep Cooled, Highly Sensitive, High Resolution Fiber Optic Raman System

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i-Raman® Pro-ST

Portable Raman Analyzer for Rapid Analysis and Identification Through Opaque Barriers

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i-Raman® EX

1064nm Fiber Optic Raman System

i-RamanEX_200

i-Spec® Plus

Diffuse Reflectance NIR Analyzer

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NanoLIBS®

Handheld LIBS Analyzer for the Pharmaceutical Industry

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Application Notes

The benefits of Raman spectroscopy are well recognized for the molecular identification of unknown samples and being used routinely in various applications areas.
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Raman spectroscopy is a nondestructive and highly versatile technique for analysis of chemicals, both organic and inorganic. It is used in industry, bioscience, medical diagnosis, forensics, and many other areas.
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This application note focuses on rock art paintings in open-air rock shelters in five rock art sites in the eastern Iberian Peninsula. Each of these sites presents outstanding difficulties of analysis by Raman spectroscopy, the most prevalent being crusts that mask Raman signals from the pigments and any other component of the paint recipe. X-ray fluorescence and diffuse reflectance using portable instruments as well as electronic microscopy and energy dispersive X-ray spectroscopy of micro-specimens from the painting panels have revealed the distribution of the different components. This not only helps to discern what the images are, but also contributes to the scientific dating of the crusts and rock art itself.
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Being applied in archaeology only in the recent years, Raman spectroscopy is becoming increasingly important as an analytical tool in conservation science. Its relevance is given by the intrinsic properties of the technique; actually Raman spectra are obtained by excitation with low energy radiation; by contrast with common “archaeology” experimental techniques such as Mossbauer spectroscopy and Electronic Spin Resonance, Raman spectroscopy is completely not destructive and does not need any pretreatment of the samples. Moreover, thanks to the advances in the technology devices in the recent years, it is possible to collect excellent experimental data in situ, by means of optical fiber coupled devices with small and compact dispersive apparatus
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Chemical identification is an important part of the study of archaeological artefacts and artworks. This information can be obtained through nondestructive Raman analysis directly within the environment in which the artefacts are discovered. This information is extremely helpful in forming the basis of identifying pigments, dyes and paints used; thus indicating when and how a piece was made, giving insight into the time period of creation, and suggesting the authenticity of the object.
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Portable Raman Spectroscopy is widely used for the analysis of paintings, ceramics, statues (surface coatings), and other artifacts. The flexibility of fiber optics in conjunction with the non-destructive and non-contact nature of Raman spectroscopy allows measurements to be made in-situ.
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Carbon black is a form of amorphous carbon. It is mainly used as reinforcement filler in automobile tires and other rubber products, but is also used in pigments, paint, and carbon paper. Raman spectroscopy is a very effective analytical technology to characterize carbon materials. The fast characterization of carbon black material using Raman spectroscopy is discussed here to demonstrate that Raman technology is well suited for carbon black material characterization.
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