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Works of art

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Concept

Direct and non destructive analysis of an artwork without sampling, allows the knowledge of its main components and trace elements. These elements give informations on materials which have been used to make it, and history of the building. That could be an important help to understand the origin of the item and its age. Authentication of the object could be performed with a bibliographic study, but most of time ion beam analysis is a part of a more large survey with others analytical methods.

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Principe of analysis

The analysis consists in the study of the interaction between high energy ion beam produced by a particle accelerator and atoms from the target. Backscattered ions (RBS method) or X-ray emitted (PIXE method), are detected and give the quantitative chemical composition of the sample.

Distinctives features of the method

  • Non destructive analysis of large items
  • Multi-elemental analysis for elements with mass higher than sodium
  • Trace element analysis with LOD of few ppm
  • Expertise of surface layers

Few applications in our laboratory...

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Expertise of precious metals

  • Titration of a precious alloy
  • High purity of gold items
  • Identification of gilding technology
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Evaluation of porcelains and faiences

  • Glaze, pigments, and matrix analysis.
  • Research of specific marks from :
    • Origin of the clay
    • Glaze technology
    • Pigment sources
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Analysis of old bottles of wine

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Fine wine expertise