Optical coherence tomography and non-linear microscopy for paintings – a study of the complementary capabilities and laser degradation effects

Liang, H ORCID: 0000-0001-9496-406X, Mari, M, Cheung, CS, Kogou, S, Johnson, P and Filippidis, G, 2017. Optical coherence tomography and non-linear microscopy for paintings – a study of the complementary capabilities and laser degradation effects. Optics Express, 25 (16), pp. 19640-19653. ISSN 1094-4087

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Abstract

This paper examines for the first time the potential complementary imaging capabilities of Optical coherence tomography (OCT) and non-linear microscopy (NLM) for multi-modal 3D examination of paintings following the successful application of OCT to the in situ, non-invasive examination of varnish and paint stratigraphy of historic paintings and the promising initial studies of NLM of varnish samples. OCT provides image contrast through the optical scattering and absorption properties of materials, while NLM provides molecular information through multi-photon fluorescence and higher harmonics generation (second and third harmonic generation). OCT is well-established in the in situ non-invasive imaging of the stratigraphy of varnish and paint layers. While NLM examination of transparent samples such as fresh varnish and some transparent paints showed promising results, the ultimate use of NLM on paintings is limited owing to the laser degradation effects caused by the high peak intensity of the laser source necessary for the generation of non-linear phenomena. The high intensity normally employed in NLM is found to be damaging to all non-transparent painting materials from slightly scattering degraded varnish to slightly absorbing paint at the wavelength of the laser excitation source. The results of this paper are potentially applicable to a wide range of materials given the diversity of the materials encountered in paintings (e.g. minerals, plants, insects, oil, egg, synthetic and natural varnish).

Item Type: Journal article
Publication Title: Optics Express
Creators: Liang, H., Mari, M., Cheung, C.S., Kogou, S., Johnson, P. and Filippidis, G.
Publisher: Optical Society of America
Date: 4 August 2017
Volume: 25
Number: 16
ISSN: 1094-4087
Identifiers:
NumberType
10.1364/OE.25.019640DOI
Divisions: Schools > School of Science and Technology
Depositing User: Jonathan Gallacher
Date Added: 21 Aug 2017 09:30
Last Modified: 21 Aug 2017 09:30
URI: http://irep.ntu.ac.uk/id/eprint/31445

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