Optical spectroscopy for the investigation of works of art and counterfeit goods
The use of optical reflectance spectroscopy (UV-vis-NIR) for the identification of materials is fraught with difficulties. For example, sample fluorescence gives rise to an instrument-dependent perturbation that cannot be readily corrected for using current instrumentation and ambient lighting also interferes with real-life measurements. We will develop instrumentation and methods that allow the rapid and facile detection of diffuse reflectance spectra free from these interferences and allow the comparison of samples under a range of conditions. These methods will be developed to include spectroscopic imaging, allowing large areas to be rapidly interrogated.
Once developed these methods will be applied to the study of pigments in medieval manuscripts and related works of art. We will combine data-rich Raman spectroscopy, which provides detailed information about small areas of material at a time, with optical reflectance spectroscopy and spectroscopic imaging to allow larger areas to be analysed. The same methodology will also be applied other areas of activity. These would include the differentiation of real and counterfeit goods packaging, an area that has been identified by collaborators P&G as being of great commercial significance, and the effects of optical brighteners, hueing dyes and ambient illumination upon the perceived colour of laundered fabrics.
Fully funded studentship for 39 months.
How good is research at Durham University in Chemistry?
FTE Category A staff submitted: 40.80
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