CHAPTER 4: Synchrotron Radiation Sources for Characterization at the Microscopic Level
Published:04 Jan 2021
A. Domínguez-Vidal and M. J. Ayora-Cañada, in Analytical Strategies for Cultural Heritage Materials and Their Degradation, ed. J. M. Madariaga, The Royal Society of Chemistry, 2021, pp. 75-98.
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This chapter deals with the analytical applications of synchrotron radiation sources for the investigation of artwork materials on microscopic and submicroscopic scales. More than 50 synchrotron facilities are currently available throughout the world and the use of synchrotron radiation techniques in the field of cultural heritage has undergone a steep rise in the past two decades. The diversity of cultural heritage and archaeological materials studied using synchrotron techniques is very large and includes ceramics/glass, painting materials, metals, paper and wood-based materials. Although encompassing very distinct types of materials, they bear common specificities that guide their analysis. Thus, they are composite and heterogeneous at many length scales and, in many cases, objects or samples are particularly valuable, fragile or sensitive to damage. The properties of synchrotron radiation, particularly its high brilliance, wide spectral range and tunability, offer remarkable analytical capabilities in this context. Different photon–matter interactions have led to the development of a wide range of analytical techniques providing structural characterization, high elemental sensitivity, chemical specificity and three-dimensional spatial resolution at the micrometer scale or below, with interesting applications in the characterization of artworks.