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Issue 17, 2011
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Surface-enhanced Raman spectroscopy analysis of house paint and wallpaper samples from an 18th century historic property

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Abstract

Conservation efforts for heritage buildings require a substantial knowledge of the chemical makeup of materials that were used throughout the lifetime of the property. In particular, conservators are often concerned with the identification of colorants used in both interior and exterior wall treatments (paint, wallpaper, etc.) in order to gain perspective into how the building may have appeared during a certain time period in its existence. Ideally, such an analysis requires a technique that provides molecular level information as to the identity of the colorant as well as other sample components (binders, fillers, etc.), which is useful for dating purposes. In addition, the technique should be easily applied to paint layer samples which can be extremely thin and fragile. Herein we report the surface-enhanced Raman spectroscopy (SERS) analysis of paint and wallpaper samples taken from exterior and interior surfaces of a historic building. Several pigments were identified in the samples, which ranged from early inorganic pigments (lead white, barium sulfate, calcium carbonate, anhydrous chromium(III) oxide) which have been used in house paints for centuries, to a more modern pigment (phthalocyanine blue), developed in the middle of the 20th century. This analysis highlights the usefulness of SERS in such a conservation effort, and demonstrates for the first time pigment identification in house paints and wallpaper using SERS, which has far-reaching implications not only in the field of conservation, but also in forensics, industrial process control, and environmental health and safety.

Graphical abstract: Surface-enhanced Raman spectroscopy analysis of house paint and wallpaper samples from an 18th century historic property

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Publication details

The article was received on 27 Oct 2010, accepted on 03 Jan 2011 and first published on 25 Jan 2011


Article type: Paper
DOI: 10.1039/C0AN00832J
Citation: Analyst, 2011,136, 3453-3460
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    Surface-enhanced Raman spectroscopy analysis of house paint and wallpaper samples from an 18th century historic property

    S. G. Harroun, J. Bergman, E. Jablonski and C. L. Brosseau, Analyst, 2011, 136, 3453
    DOI: 10.1039/C0AN00832J

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