The Laser Microspectral Analysis of Paint

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Ashok Roy
Technical Bulletin Volume 3, 1979


Laser excited spectroscopy (LMA) is a versatile and sensitive analytical tool for the qualitative detection of the characteristic and trace elements found in pigment materials. A particular asset for the conservation laboratory is that each spectrum represents a permanent unambiguous record of an analysis in a form suitable for future comparative studies. LMA provides a valuable adjunct to the examination of the layer structure of minute paint flakes by optical microscopy, and when information gathered from these two techniques is combined with X-ray diffraction studies using the powder camera method, the majority of the inorganic materials found in paintings can be identified with certainty.


laser microspectral analysis, optical microscopy, paintings, pigment

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Roy, A. 'The Laser Microspectral Analysis of Paint'. National Gallery Technical Bulletin Vol 3, pp 43–50.

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