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Development and trends in synchrotron studies of ancient and historical materials


Bertrand, Loïc; Cotte, Marine; Stampanoni, Marco; Thoury, Mathieu; Marone, Federica; Schöder, Sebastian (2012). Development and trends in synchrotron studies of ancient and historical materials. Physics Reports, 519(2):51-96.

Abstract

Synchrotron photon-based methods are increasingly being used for the physico-chemical study of ancient and historical materials (archaeology, palaeontology, conservation sciences, palaeo-environments). In particular, parameters such as the high photon flux, the small source size and the low divergence attained at the synchrotron make it a very efficient source for a range of advanced spectroscopy and imaging techniques, adapted to the heterogeneity and great complexity of the materials under study. The continuous tunability of the source — its very extended energy distribution over wide energy domains (meV to keV) with a high intensity — is an essential parameter for techniques based on a very fine tuning of the probing energy to reach high chemical sensitivity such as XANES, EXAFS, STXM, UV/VIS spectrometry, etc. The small source size attained (a few micrometres) at least in the vertical plane leads to spatial coherence of the photon beams, giving rise in turn to a series of imaging methods already crucial to the field. This review of the existing literature shows that microfocused hard X-ray spectroscopy (absorption, fluorescence, diffraction), full-field X-ray tomography and infrared spectroscopy are the leading synchrotron techniques in the field, and presents illustrative examples of the study of ancient and historical materials for the various methods. Fast developing analytical modalities in scanning spectroscopy (STXM, macro-XRF scanning) and novel analytical strategies regarding optics, detectors and other instrumental developments are expected to provide major contributions in the years to come. Other energy domains are increasingly being used or considered such as far-infrared and ultraviolet/visible for spectroscopy and imaging. We discuss the main instrumental developments and perspectives, and their impact for the science being made on ancient materials using synchrotron techniques.

Abstract

Synchrotron photon-based methods are increasingly being used for the physico-chemical study of ancient and historical materials (archaeology, palaeontology, conservation sciences, palaeo-environments). In particular, parameters such as the high photon flux, the small source size and the low divergence attained at the synchrotron make it a very efficient source for a range of advanced spectroscopy and imaging techniques, adapted to the heterogeneity and great complexity of the materials under study. The continuous tunability of the source — its very extended energy distribution over wide energy domains (meV to keV) with a high intensity — is an essential parameter for techniques based on a very fine tuning of the probing energy to reach high chemical sensitivity such as XANES, EXAFS, STXM, UV/VIS spectrometry, etc. The small source size attained (a few micrometres) at least in the vertical plane leads to spatial coherence of the photon beams, giving rise in turn to a series of imaging methods already crucial to the field. This review of the existing literature shows that microfocused hard X-ray spectroscopy (absorption, fluorescence, diffraction), full-field X-ray tomography and infrared spectroscopy are the leading synchrotron techniques in the field, and presents illustrative examples of the study of ancient and historical materials for the various methods. Fast developing analytical modalities in scanning spectroscopy (STXM, macro-XRF scanning) and novel analytical strategies regarding optics, detectors and other instrumental developments are expected to provide major contributions in the years to come. Other energy domains are increasingly being used or considered such as far-infrared and ultraviolet/visible for spectroscopy and imaging. We discuss the main instrumental developments and perspectives, and their impact for the science being made on ancient materials using synchrotron techniques.

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Additional indexing

Item Type:Journal Article, refereed, original work
Communities & Collections:04 Faculty of Medicine > Institute of Biomedical Engineering
Dewey Decimal Classification:170 Ethics
610 Medicine & health
Language:English
Date:2012
Deposited On:23 Jan 2013 12:45
Last Modified:17 Feb 2018 00:41
Publisher:Elsevier
ISSN:0370-1573
OA Status:Closed
Publisher DOI:https://doi.org/10.1016/j.physrep.2012.03.003

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