The pigments, binders and other materials that are used in historic works of art are of interest to conservators who need to recreate them in order to repair and maintain these artefacts. The constituent materials can be identified from their molecular fingerprints, and in this project we are aiming to develop a suite of new techniques for local and full-field imaging and spectroscopy for this purpose. The project combines training in optics, computational analysis and spectroscopy, and would be suited to an excellent physics or chemistry graduate with interests in these areas.
The project is a collaboration with the University of Glasgow’s Technical Art History Group, who have unique access to a number of paintings and other objects from the Hunterian Collection. The optical side of the project is led by Prof. Derryck Reid and will develop techniques such as micro-spectroscopy, optical coherence tomography and computational imaging (compressive sensing) in the mid-infrared using new sources such as long-wave 7-10 micron) optical parametric oscillators. The project will be co-supervised by Dr. Yoann Altmann, a computational imaging expert. Regular engagement with the Glasgow University group is also expected.
Prospective applicants are encouraged to contact Prof. Reid for an informal discussion about the project, which is supported by a parallel EPSRC grant.