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The identification of materials in contemporary works of art is of particular importance not only for the sake of knowledge of artistic choices and techniques, but also for the diversified conservation problems that these materials can present. Raman spectroscopy is a powerful tool for their characterisation, both in the laboratory – due to the availability of techniques such as Fourier-transform Raman spectroscopy and surface-enhanced Raman spectroscopy (SERS), the latter capable of enhancing Raman signals and reducing fluorescence emission especially for the analysis of dyes – and in the field by means of portable spectrometers based on newly developed technologies. In this way not only conventional but also “special effect” synthetic pigments can be recognised and the composition of artistic paints and household ones used for artistic purposes can be elucidated. Moreover, the joint use of Raman and reflection FTIR spectroscopy, the latter especially suitable for the identification of binders, offers a powerful means for non-invasive analysis of these materials.

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