Research lines

We work on the development and application of laser-based methods for the conservation and analysis of cultural heritage (CH).

Laser cleaning and laser-based methods for analysis of Cultural Heritage

 We investigate the laser removal of unwanted layers present on different substrates of Cultural Heritage. This leads to the formulation, for each type of substrate and overlayer, of optimization procedures (elimination without damage), to the identification of side effects and to the design of mitigation strategies.

Concerning molecular substrates, we investigate the UV laser removal of the varnish layer applied on tempera paints, using pulses of nanosecond and femtosecond duration, and have identified the physicochemical modifications associated to the direct laser irradiation of pigments traditionally used in the artistic paintings.

In respect to inorganic substrates, like stone or ceramics, we are studying the laser treatment of bioterioration layers (lichens, cyanobacteria) using irradiation approaches, based on the combination of different laser wavelengths (see figure below), with the use of biocides.

SEM-BSE  images of V. Nigrescens colonizing Redueña quarry dolostone after sequential IR–UV laser treatment. The thin arrow points to detachments of the upper cortex and the wide arrow marks the position of exposed unprotected algae. The asterisks mark exposed algal cells that have experienced loss of some of their content.

 

Together with our activity on laser cleaning, we apply and develop laser-based methods for analysis of Cultural Heritage substrates. We combine laser spectroscopies, as laser-induced breakdown spectroscopy (LIBS), laser-induced fluorescence (LIF) and Raman for compositional analysis and to monitor physicochemical transformations occurring during laser cleaning or as a result of degradation or ageing. The following figure illustrates this approach for the case of an historical set of Late Roman glasses.

Compositional analysis of an historical set of Late Roman glasses. 

 

More recently, we are applying nonlinear microscopies in imaging mode, using an ultrafast femtosecond excitation laser, exploiting several nonlinear optical effects. Using MultiPhoton Excited Fluorescence (MPEF) and Second or Third Harmonic Generation (SHG, THG), we aim at obtaining high contrast imaging of samples for the nondestructive accurate determination of thickness within multilayer samples and objects and of the composition as a function of depth.

Non-linear microscopy set up at the Centro de Asistencia a la Investigación (CAI) Centro de Láseres Ultrarrápidos (CLUR) at the Universidad Complutense de Madrid.  

 

Our activity in the field of Cultural Heritage is supported by participation in Comunidad de Madrid project Geomateriales (Tecnologías y Conservación de Geomateriales del Patrimonio) and by H2020 EU projects IPERION CH (Integrated Platform for the European Research Infrastructure ON Cultural Heritage), PARTHENOS (Pooling Activities, Resources and Tools for Heritage E-research Networking, Optimization and Synergies) and E-RIHS-PP (The European Research Infrastructure for Heritage Science, Preparation Phase)

Further information is available at

http://www.geomateriales.es/

http://www.iperionch.eu/

http://www.parthenos-project.eu/

http://www.e-rihs.eu/

 

 

 

 

Recent references

M. Oujja et al., Appl. Spectrosc. 64, 528 (2010).

P.M. Carmona-Quiroga et al., J. Cult. Herit. 11, 297 (2010).

M. Oujja et al., Phys. Chem. Chem. Phys. 13, 4625 (2011).

N. Carmona et al., Appl. Surf. Sci. 257, 9935 (2011).

M. Oujja et al., Proceedings of 8th LACONA, Taylor and Francis, 15 (2011).

P. Pouli et al., Appl. Phys. A 106, 447 (2012) Invited Paper.

M. Oujja et al., Anal. & Bioanal Chem. 402, 1433 (2012).

T. Palomar et al., Spectrochim. Acta B 87, 114 (2013).

M. Oujja et al., Spectrochim. Acta A 102, 7 (2013).

M. Speranza et al., Inter. Biodeterior. Biodegrad. 84, 281 (2013).

M. de Buergo et al., Science and Technology for the Conservation of Cultural Heritage, 173 (2013).

M. Oujja et al., Science and Technology for the Conservation of Cultural Heritage, 179 (2013).

T. Palomar et al., Science and Technology for the Conservation of Cultural Heritage, 251 (2013).

M. Oujja et al., Proceedings of 9th LACONA, Archetype Publications, 12 (2013).

M. Sanz et al., Appl. Surf. Sci. 346, 248 (2015).

M. Oujja et al., J. Anal. At. Spectrom. 30, 1590 (2015).

D. Ciofini et al., Microchem. J. 124, 792 (2016).

T. Palomar et al., Appl. Surf. Sci. 387, 118 (2016).

 

 

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