Surface-enhanced Raman scattering for identification of organic pigments and dyes in works of art and cultural heritage material
Purpose - Identification and characterization of organic pigments and dyes used in works of art and cultural heritage material such as prints, drawings, manuscripts, paintings, and textiles can provide important information for dating, authentication, and conservation treatment of these objects and studying art history in general. Applications of surface-enhanced Raman scattering (SERS) for this purpose have recently attracted increasing attention of both academic scientists and museum researchers. This paper aims to review the latest development involving the emerging applications of SERS for the analysis of organic pigments and dyes used in works of art and cultural heritage material. Design/methodology/approach - First, the importance of organic pigments and dyes in the studies of works of art and cultural heritage material and the challenges in their identification and characterization are briefly summarized. This is followed by a discussion on sampling considerations in the context of art and archaeology. Then the fundamental principle of SERS, SERS instrumentation and different types of SERS substrates are reviewed. Finally, selected examples of SERS applications to the identification of organic pigments and dyes, including the analysis of a couple of samples of artistic and archaeological interest, are presented and discussed. Findings - The last few years have witnessed the emergence of SERS as a non-destructive or micro-destructive technique for the characterization of organic pigments and dyes found in artistic and archaeological objects. Spectroscopic and microscopic measurements using SERS have provided some novel information and answers to a wide variety of questions. However, SERS application to the field of art and archaeology is still in the fledging stage of development and requires closer collaboration between academic scientists and museum researchers. But the range of possible applications is broad. Future trends point to a strong need for the development of portable instruments for field applications. Originality/value - By compiling this review, the authors hope to direct more attention toward SERS and bring together the expertise in the scientific, museum and art community to further explore the possibilities of SERS in rapid and direct identification of pigments and dyes under field conditions. © Emerald Group Publishing Limited.
Chen, K; Leona, M; Vo-Dinh, T
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