Monday, June 19, 2017

Abstract-THz Spectroscopic Identification of Red Mineral Pigments in Ancient Chinese Artworks

Yuping Yang, Dongwei Zhai, Zhenwei Zhang, Cunlin Zhang

Nondestructive analysis of historical objects is of significance for cultural heritage conservation. In this paper, terahertz time-domain spectroscopy (THz-TDS) was used to distinguish seven red mineral pigments used in ancient Chinese artworks. Two absorption features of natural minerals HgS and four highly resolved spectral features of mineral pigment Pb3O4 were observed and identified as their fingerprints in the range 0.2 to 3.0 THz, based on which the spatial distribution of individual chemical substances including cinnabar, vermilion, and red lead were clearly revealed at various frequencies using terahertz spectroscopy imaging. Moreover, a noncontact evaluation of thickness changing and dehydration of a wet painting was monitored by inferring time delay as well as signal amplitude of THz pulses transmitted through the painting. In order to demonstrate the feasibility of THz-TDS and THz imaging for authentic artworks detection, a complete set of THz analysis of two nineteenth century wall paintings discovered in the Fuchen Temple of the Forbidden City, Beijing, was performed and the results indicate that THz measurement techniques provide a noninvasive and nondestructive solution for the care, preservation, and restoration of cultural relics.

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