ATR and Transmission Analysis of Pigments by means of Far Infrared Spectroscopy

Elsebeth Langholz Kendix, Silvia Prati, Edith Joseph, Giorgia Sciutto, Rocco Mazzeo

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In the field of FTIR spectroscopy, the far infrared (FIR) spectral region has been so far less investigated than the mid-infrared (MIR), even though it presents great advantages in the characterization of those inorganic compounds, which are inactive in the MIR, such as some art pigments, corrosion products, etc. Furthermore, FIR spectroscopy is complementary to Raman spectroscopy if the fluorescence effects caused by the latter analytical technique are considered. In this paper, ATR in the FIR region is proposed as an alternative method to transmission for the analyses of pigments. This methodology was selected in order to reduce the sample amount needed for analysis, which is a must when examining cultural heritage materials. A selection of pigments have been analyzed in both ATR and transmission mode, and the resulting spectra were compared with each other. To better perform this comparison, an evaluation of the possible effect induced by the thermal treatment needed for the preparation of the polyethylene pellets on the transmission spectra of the samples has been carried out. Therefore, pigments have been analyzed in ATR mode before and after heating them at the same temperature employed for the polyethylene pellet preparation. The results showed that while the heating treatment causes only small changes in the intensity of some bands, the ATR spectra were characterized by differences in both intensity and band shifts towards lower frequencies if compared with those recorded in transmission mode. All pigments' transmission and ATR spectra are presented and discussed, and the ATR method was validated on a real case study.
Original languageEnglish
JournalAnalytical and Bioanalytical Chemistry
Issue number4
Pages (from-to)1023 -1032
Publication statusPublished - 2009
Externally publishedYes

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