Infrared Spectroscopy in Conservation Science

Michele R. Derrick, Dusan C. Stulik, and James M. Landry


248 pages

PDF file size: 5.9 MB


This book provides practical information on the use of infrared (IR) spectroscopy for the analysis of materials found in cultural objects. Designed for scientists and students in the fields of archaeology, art conservation, microscopy, forensics, chemistry, and optics, the book discusses techniques for examining the microscopic amounts of complex, aged components in objects such as paintings, sculptures, and archaeological fragments.

Chapters include the history of infrared spectroscopy, the basic parameters of infrared absorption theory, IR instrumentation, analysis methods, sample collection and preparation, and spectra interpretation. The authors cite several case studies, such as examinations of Chumash Indian paints and the Dead Sea Scrolls.

The Tools for Conservation series provides practical scientific procedures and methodologies for the practice of conservation. The series is specifically directed to conservation scientists, conservators, and technical experts in related fields.

Table of Contents

  • Foreword
  • Preface
  • Acknowledgments
  • Chapter 1: History of Infrared Spectroscopy
    • Additional Reading
  • Chapter 2: Infrared Absorption Theory
    • Electromagnetic Radiation
      • Wave Theory
    • Absorption Theory
      • Molecular Absorptions
      • Degrees of Freedom
      • Selection Rules
      • Group Frequencies
    • Infrared Spectra
    • Infrared Regions
      • Near-Infrared Region
      • Mid-Infrared Region
      • Far-Infrared Region
    • Summary
    • Additional Reading
  • Chapter 3: Sample Collection and Preparation
    • Sampling Methodology
      • Sampling Design
      • Sampling Location
    • Sampling Implementation
      • Tools
      • Sample Documentation and Storage
      • Avoidance of Contamination
    • Sample Collection and Preparation Procedures
      • Gases
      • Liquids
      • Sampling with Swabs
      • Solids, Powders, and Particles
      • Fibers
      • Cross Sections
    • Summary
    • Additional Reading
  • Chapter 4: Infrared Analysis Methods
    • Infrared Transmission Measurements
      • Infrared Window Materials
      • Transmission Analysis of Gases
      • Transmission Analysis of Liquids
      • Transmission Analysis of Solids
    • Infrared Reflection Measurements
      • Specular Reflection
      • Reflection-Absorption
      • Diffuse Reflection
      • Internal Reflection
    • Infrared Microspectroscopy
      • Microspectrophotometer Design
      • Microspectrophotometer Capabilities
      • Particle and Fiber Analysis
      • Cross Section Analysis
      • Microspectrophotometer Accessories
    • Summary
    • Additional Reading
  • Chapter 5: Spectral Interpretation
    • Infrared Spectra
      • Absorption Bands
      • Plotting Format
      • Instrument Configuration
    • Qualitative Analysis
      • Spectral Quality
      • Visual Comparison
      • Computer Libraries
      • Spectral Region Examination
      • Spectra-Structure Correlations
      • Correlation Charts
    • Identification of Materials Used in Art and Art Conservation
      • Natural Organic Materials
      • Synthetic Resins (Polymers)
      • Colorants
      • Mixtures
    • Quantitative Analysis
    • Mathematical Manipulations of Spectra
      • Subtraction Techniques
      • Resolution Enhancement Methods
    • Summary
    • Additional Reading
  • Chapter 6: Case Studies
    • Identification and Characterization of Materials
    • Deterioration Studies
    • The Case Studies
      • Case Study 1: Ultramarine Pigments
      • Case Study 2: Creosote Lac Resin
      • Case Study 3: Chumash Indian Paints
      • Case Study 4: Varnish on a Desk
      • Case Study 5: Reflection versus Transmission
      • Case Study 6: Painting Cross Sections
      • Case Study 7: Vikane
      • Case Study 8: Parylene
      • Case Study 9: Cellulose Nitrate Sculptures
      • Case Study 10: Dead Sea Scrolls
    • Summary
  • Appendix I: Selected Infrared Spectra Collections and Digitized Libraries
  • Appendix II: Infrared Reference Spectra
  • Glossary
  • Suppliers
  • References
  • Index
  • About the Authors

About the Authors

Michele R. Derrick is a chemist and conservation scientist with more than twenty years’ experience analyzing and characterizing materials. She worked at the University of Arizona Analytical Center and then for twelve years as a conservation scientist at the Getty Conservation Institute before taking on a dual role as a consultant for the Museum of Fine Arts, Boston, and as a chemist at a commercial analytical laboratory. She holds a grant from the National Center for Preservation Technology and Training to compile a database on materials used in the production and conservation of historic and artistic objects and sites.

Dusan C. Stulik is a senior scientist in the Scientific Program at the Getty Conservation Institute, where his research focuses on the application of modern scientific methods to conservation science.

James M. Landry is a professor of chemistry and director of the Natural Science Program at Loyola Marymount University in Los Angeles. His research interests include projects in IR microspectroscopy and gas chromatography-mass spectrometry. He has been involved in developing a formulation and application process for a novel coating that blocks the transmission of heat through a variety of materials. He has been involved in the Los Angeles Collaborative for Teacher Excellence (LACTE), an association of ten colleges funded by the National Science Foundation that works to improve the preparation of K-12 science and math teachers.