Ultra-high resolution Fourier domain optical coherence tomography for old master paintings

Cheung, C.S., Spring, M. and Liang, H. ORCID: 0000-0001-9496-406X, 2015. Ultra-high resolution Fourier domain optical coherence tomography for old master paintings. Optics Express, 23 (8), pp. 10145-10157. ISSN 1094-4087

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In the last 10 years, Optical Coherence Tomography (OCT) has been successfully applied to art conservation, history and archaeology. OCT has the potential to become a routine non-invasive tool in museums allowing cross-section imaging anywhere on an intact object where there are no other methods of obtaining subsurface information. While current commercial OCTs have shown potential in this field, they are still limited in depth resolution (> 4 μm in paint and varnish) compared to conventional microscopic examination of sampled paint cross-sections (~1 μm). An ultrahigh resolution fiber-based Fourier domain optical coherence tomography system with a constant axial resolution of 1.2 μm in varnish or paint throughout a depth range of 1.5 mm has been developed. While Fourier domain OCT of similar resolution has been demonstrated recently, the sensitivity roll-off of some of these systems are still significant. In contrast, this current system achieved a sensitivity roll-off that is less than 2 dB over a 1.2 mm depth range with an incident power of ~1 mW on the sample. The high resolution and sensitivity of the system makes it convenient to image thin varnish and glaze layers with unprecedented contrast. The non-invasive 'virtual' cross-section images obtained with the system show the thin varnish layers with similar resolution in the depth direction but superior clarity in the layer interfaces when compared with conventional optical microscope images of actual paint sample cross-sections obtained microdestructively.

Item Type: Journal article
Publication Title: Optics Express
Creators: Cheung, C.S., Spring, M. and Liang, H.
Publisher: The Optical Society of America
Place of Publication: Washington, D.C.
Date: 20 April 2015
Volume: 23
Number: 8
ISSN: 1094-4087
Divisions: Schools > School of Science and Technology
Record created by: EPrints Services
Date Added: 09 Oct 2015 11:05
Last Modified: 09 Jun 2017 13:48
URI: https://irep.ntu.ac.uk/id/eprint/22486

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