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Applications of Surface Science Methods in the Field of Cultural Heritage

A special issue of Applied Sciences (ISSN 2076-3417). This special issue belongs to the section "Materials Science and Engineering".

Deadline for manuscript submissions: closed (31 December 2019) | Viewed by 27284

Special Issue Editor


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Guest Editor
Dipartimento di Biotecnologie, Chimica e Farmacia, Università di Siena, Via A. Moro 2, 53100 Siena, Italy
Interests: surface chemistry; magnetic nanoparticles; coating of nanoparticles; hydrogels; hydrid organic-inorganic nanomaterials; XPS; ToF-SIMS; AFM; STM

Special Issue Information

Dear Colleagues,

Surface science methods were originally introduced for studying physical and chemical processes on single crystal surfaces under ultra-high vacuum conditions. Nonetheless, surface analysis techniques, particularly those based on electrons and ions, are capable of providing valuable pieces of information in the field of cultural heritage studies. Methods such as XPS, AES, and ToF-SIMS allow one to perform chemical analyses with high lateral and depth resolutions. Surface analysis methods are not destructive and are suitable to study extremely small samples of precious works of art. The results of these analytical tools, together with those of remote, non-invasive methods, are needed to shed light on materials and techniques used to prepare work of arts and to guide restoration interventions.

The aim of this Special Issue is to collect contributions of researchers working in the area of surface analysis applied to cultural heritage to highlight the latest developments of the analytical methods and their applications in this field. The contributions will present applications of surface science techniques to the chemical characterization of various kinds of works of art, including archaeological objects, and the potentialities of newly introduced surface sensitive methods.

Prof. Andrea Atrei
Guest Editor

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Please visit the Instructions for Authors page before submitting a manuscript. The Article Processing Charge (APC) for publication in this open access journal is 2400 CHF (Swiss Francs). Submitted papers should be well formatted and use good English. Authors may use MDPI's English editing service prior to publication or during author revisions.

Keywords

  • surface chemical analysis
  • XPS
  • AES
  • ToF-SIMS
  • cultural heritage
  • paintings
  • ceramics
  • glasses
  • metals
  • archaeological objects

Published Papers (6 papers)

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Research

15 pages, 4956 KiB  
Article
“Argento Deaurato” or “Argento Biancheggiato”? A Rare and Interesting Case of Silver Background in Italian Painting of the XIII Century
by Iacopo Osticioli, Daniele Ciofini, Martina Banchelli, Laura Capozzoli, Loredana Gallo, Alessandro Lavacchi, Barbara Salvadori, Paolo Matteini and Salvatore Siano
Appl. Sci. 2020, 10(7), 2404; https://doi.org/10.3390/app10072404 - 1 Apr 2020
Cited by 4 | Viewed by 2350
Abstract
The painting depicting the “Virgin with the Child and two angels” by a Tuscan anonymous artist of the XIII century, has raised great interest regarding the execution technique including the use of silver, applied on wood as a background. An in-depth investigation was [...] Read more.
The painting depicting the “Virgin with the Child and two angels” by a Tuscan anonymous artist of the XIII century, has raised great interest regarding the execution technique including the use of silver, applied on wood as a background. An in-depth investigation was carried out especially concerning the burnishing process of the silver leaves as well as a detailed inspection of the nature of the organic compounds over the metal leaf and the degradation products of the silver layer. To this aim, a multianalytical approach was used including UV–VIS microscopy along with an Ultra-High-Resolution Scanning Electron Microscopy (UHR-SEM), as well as Fourier Transform Infrared (FTIR), fluorescence and micro-Raman spectroscopies. As a result, the presence of an oil-resin varnish layer in the uppermost layer and a wax-protein layer between the varnish and the metal layer as well as the evidence that the silver leaf was applied with high accuracy directly to the preparation layer, were clearly demonstrated. Furthermore, degradation products of the silver leaf were identified as sulphides, chlorides, and oxides. The holistic approach herein adopted enabled a step forward in the knowledge of the 13th century silver leaf gilding technique, adding value to the originality of this artwork. In this respect, the scientific evidence led to the assumption that likely this painting originally showed a silver-colored background (“argento biancheggiato”) as compared to the initial theory of a case of “argento deaurato”. Full article
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16 pages, 4163 KiB  
Article
Authentication of an Old Violin by Multianalytical Methods
by Ion Sandu, Petru Ovidiu Tanasa, Irina Crina Anca Sandu, Ioan Cristinel Negru, Andrei Victor Sandu and Viorica Vasilache
Appl. Sci. 2020, 10(1), 306; https://doi.org/10.3390/app10010306 - 31 Dec 2019
Cited by 7 | Viewed by 11316
Abstract
The paper presents the authentication of a Stradivari 1737 type violin, which belonged to the Romanian scientist Ştefan Odobleja. The analytical methods used in the study for assessing archaeometric characteristics of some component materials, along with the white degree and glycolysis rate measurements [...] Read more.
The paper presents the authentication of a Stradivari 1737 type violin, which belonged to the Romanian scientist Ştefan Odobleja. The analytical methods used in the study for assessing archaeometric characteristics of some component materials, along with the white degree and glycolysis rate measurements of the label that allowed an extensive evaluation of the violin, were OM, SEM–EDX, and micro-FTIR. The preparation binder (egg white from thin gypsum layers) and the varnish (identification of linseed oil and colophony components, alongside contamination impurities) were assessed in order to evaluate the artefact conservation state, as well as the restoration and counterfeiting interventions. We can conclude that the violin was done by a violin maker from the Stradivari family, and it is a replica of the violins of that period. Full article
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14 pages, 11234 KiB  
Article
Extraction of Hidden Information under Sootiness on Murals Based on Hyperspectral Image Enhancement
by Miaole Hou, Ning Cao, Li Tan, Shuqiang Lyu, Pingping Zhou and Chenqi Xu
Appl. Sci. 2019, 9(17), 3591; https://doi.org/10.3390/app9173591 - 2 Sep 2019
Cited by 11 | Viewed by 2348
Abstract
Changes in the environment and human activities can cause serious deterioration of murals. Hyperspectral imaging technology can observe murals in the range of visible to near infrared light, providing a scientific and non-destructive way for mural digital preservation. An effective method to extract [...] Read more.
Changes in the environment and human activities can cause serious deterioration of murals. Hyperspectral imaging technology can observe murals in the range of visible to near infrared light, providing a scientific and non-destructive way for mural digital preservation. An effective method to extract hidden information from the sootiness of murals in order to enhance the visual value of patterns in ancient murals using hyperspectral imaging is proposed in this paper. Firstly, Minimum Noise Fraction transform was applied to reduce sootiness features in the background of the mural. Secondly, analysis of spectral characteristics and image subtraction were used to achieve feature enhancement of the murals. Finally, density slicing was performed to extract the patterns under the sootiness. The results showed that the extraction of hidden information was achieved with an overall accuracy of 88.97%. Full article
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8 pages, 3487 KiB  
Article
Chemical Composition and Micro Morphology of Golden Laminae in the Wall Painting “La Maestà” by Simone Martini: A Study by Optical Microscopy, XRD, FESEM-EDS and ToF-SIMS
by Andrea Atrei, Andrea Scala, Marco Giamello, Marianna Uva, Riccardo Maria Pulselli and Nadia Marchettini
Appl. Sci. 2019, 9(17), 3452; https://doi.org/10.3390/app9173452 - 21 Aug 2019
Cited by 6 | Viewed by 2973
Abstract
The chemical characterization of gilding decorations in works of art is fundamental in order to elucidate the techniques and materials used by the artists. In the present work we investigated by a combination of bulk and surface sensitive methods the composition and micro [...] Read more.
The chemical characterization of gilding decorations in works of art is fundamental in order to elucidate the techniques and materials used by the artists. In the present work we investigated by a combination of bulk and surface sensitive methods the composition and micro stratigraphy of the gilding laminae in the wall painting of the 14th century “La Maestà”, the masterpiece of Simone Martini. The aim of this study was to determine the composition of the gilding leaves and of the adhesive organic materials used to glue the metallic decorations to the wall painting. Due to the altered state of the samples we could not univocally identify the nature of the adhesive materials. Time of flight secondary ion mass spectrometry measurements showed that the gilding layers consisted of a gold leaf which was laid either directly on a preparation layer or on a tin lamina. The high sensitivity of ToF-SIMS and its spatial resolution allowed us to find traces of silver in the gold leaves and in the tin laminae which were not revealed by energy dispersive X-ray analysis. Full article
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15 pages, 12497 KiB  
Article
Exploring Manufacturing Process and Degradation Products of Gilt and Painted Leather
by Morena Iorio, Valerio Graziani, Sergio Lins, Stefano Ridolfi, Paolo Branchini, Andrea Fabbri, Gabriel Ingo, Gabriella Di Carlo and Luca Tortora
Appl. Sci. 2019, 9(15), 3016; https://doi.org/10.3390/app9153016 - 26 Jul 2019
Cited by 20 | Viewed by 4088
Abstract
In this work, we studied the manufacturing processes and the conservation state of gilt and painted leather fragments from Palazzo Chigi in Ariccia (Italy) by using different analytical techniques. Leather fragments present a silver leaf superimposed onto leather support. A gold varnish and [...] Read more.
In this work, we studied the manufacturing processes and the conservation state of gilt and painted leather fragments from Palazzo Chigi in Ariccia (Italy) by using different analytical techniques. Leather fragments present a silver leaf superimposed onto leather support. A gold varnish and different painted layers decorate it all. A top-down analytical approach was used to investigate this complex multilayer structure, which adopted techniques with different sampling depths. Organic and inorganic constitutive materials together with related degradation products were studied by time of flight secondary ion mass spectrometry (ToF-SIMS), attenuated total reflectance-Fourier transform infrared spectroscopy (ATR-FTIR), and macro X-ray fluorescence (MA-XRF). The findings have revealed the presence of different elements and species as calcium and iron in the leather support, which was attributed to the un-hairing process in the leather tanning. Regarding what concerns the silver leaf, where the varnish cracked, silver chlorides, oxides, and sulfides were detected as degradation products of the silver leaf. Proteinaceous compounds were also identified where the silver leaf is unprotected by the varnish. These ion signals reveal a potential use of animal glue on both sides of the silver leaf to promote durable adhesion. In the gold varnish, the surface analysis revealed organic compounds such as resins and oils. In particular, the copresence of linoleic, arachidonic, and lignoceric acid ion signals in the yellow area suggests the use of aloe as a colorant. Lead ions in the same area were detected and attributed to the use of lead as siccative. Blue areas were obtained by using indigo and lead white in addition to an oil binder. This is confirmed by the detection of indigotin, fatty acid, and lead soap ion signals. A copper-based pigment was used to depict the green areas and copper oxalates were identified as its degradation products. Lastly, no significant information about the red colorant was obtained. Colophony is present as a component of the final varnish. Full article
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13 pages, 1187 KiB  
Article
Bacterial and Biodeterioration Analysis of the Waterlogged Wooden Lacquer Plates from the Nanhai No. 1 Shipwreck
by Liuyu Yin, Yin Jia, Mei Wang, Huanhuan Yu, Ying Jing, Cuiting Hu, Fengyu Zhang, Mingliang Sun, Zijun Liu, Yue Chen, Jie Liu and Jiao Pan
Appl. Sci. 2019, 9(4), 653; https://doi.org/10.3390/app9040653 - 15 Feb 2019
Cited by 13 | Viewed by 3376
Abstract
To protect the lacquer plates from the Nanhai No. 1 shipwreck from being corroded by microorganisms, a series of studies were conducted on the four water-stored samples. The water samples were collected from the vessel where the lacquerware was stored in June and [...] Read more.
To protect the lacquer plates from the Nanhai No. 1 shipwreck from being corroded by microorganisms, a series of studies were conducted on the four water-stored samples. The water samples were collected from the vessel where the lacquerware was stored in June and December 2017. In our study, high-throughput sequencing was conducted to reveal predominant bacterial communities. Then, three different media were used to isolate the dominant bacteria, and the 16S rRNA genes were sequenced. Next, we tested the degradation activity of lignin and cellulose by the isolated bacterial strains. After being cultured on a medium containing carboxylmethylcellulose (CMC), almost all the isolated strains (except Microbacterium sp. NK-NH4, Ochrobactrum sp. NK-NH9, and Bacillus megaterium NK-NH10) showed the capacity for cellulose degradation. In addition, the lignin peroxidase (Lip) and laccase activity of the strains were shown by culturing the strains on one medium with azure and on another medium with Remazol brilliant blue. The results indicated that the Lip activity of all the strains was low, whereas the laccase activity of Microbacterium sp. NK-NH4, Bacillus tequilensis NK-NH5, Bacillus subtilis NK-NH6, Bacillus megaterium NK-NH10, and Bacillus velezensis NK-NH11 was relatively high. Finally, we tested the bacteriostatic efficacy of four biocides—Preventol® D7, BIT 20N, P91, and Euxyl® K100. We found that most strains were sensitive to D7 and 20N, while K100 had almost no impact. Full article
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