Subsurface Raman analysis of thin painted layers.
Conti C., Colombo C., Realini M., Zerbi G., Matousek P.
Here we present, for the first time, an extension of spatially offset Raman spectroscopy to thin (tens of micrometers thick), highly turbid stratified media such as those encountered in paintings. The method permits the non-destructive interrogation of painted layers in situations where conventional Raman microscopy is not applicable due to high turbidity of the top layer(s). The concept is demonstrated by recovering the pure Raman spectra of paint sub-layers that are completely obscured by paint over-layers. Potential application areas include the analysis of paintings in art preservation and restoration avoiding the cross-sectional analysis used currently with this type of samples. The technique also holds promise for the development as a non-destructive subsurface tool for in situ analysis using portable instruments.