Articles

TISCH—Terahertz Imaging and Spectroscopy in Cultural Heritage: applications in archaeology, architecture and art conservation science

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Returning to our cultural heritage theme, Bianca Jackson tells us about “TISCH—Terahertz Imaging and Spectroscopy in Cultural Heritage: applications in archaeology, architecture and art conservation science”. Terahertz spectroscopy and imaging of Paleolithic cave etchings, 14th century paintings in a church and a mid-20th century Italian painting are all described. This helps demonstrate the versatility of the technique as well as its potential in cultural heritage preservation.

Read more: TISCH—Terahertz Imaging and Spectroscopy in Cultural Heritage: applications in archaeology, architecture and art conservation science

 

Infrared spectroscopic techniques for the non-invasive and rapid quality control of Chinese traditional medicine Si-Wu-Tang

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Christian Huck and co-authors look at “Infrared spectroscopic techniques for the non-invasive and rapid quality control of Chinese traditional medicine Si-Wu-Tang”. They have used benchtop mid-IR and NIR as well as portable NIR instruments for quick and non-invasive quality control of this traditional Chinese medicine. Adulterations could be detected, as well as the raw herbs and different sources of the Si-Wu-Tang. The success of the mobile NIR instrument is particularly interesting due to the growing interest in such technology for its ease-of-use and cost.

Read more: Infrared spectroscopic techniques for the non-invasive and rapid quality control of Chinese traditional medicine Si-Wu-Tang

   

Synchrotron-based micro Fourier transform infrared mapping to investigate the spatial distribution of amorphous and crystalline calcium carbonate in earthworm-secreted calcium carbonate balls

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Earthworm secretions are of interest to Mark Hodson, Liane Benning, Gianfelice Cinque, Bea Demarchi, Mark Frogley, Kirsty Penkman, Juan Rodriguez-Blanco, Paul Schofield, Emma Versteegh and Katia Wehbe in “Synchrotron-based micro Fourier transform infrared mapping to investigate the spatial distribution of amorphous and crystalline calcium carbonate in earthworm-secreted calcium carbonate balls”. Several earthworm species secrete very small granules of calcium carbonate, and the authors think these are involved in pH regulation. These granules contain different polymorphs of calcium carbonate, including the amorphous form which is very unstable in the laboratory. To investigate this they have FT-IR spectroscopy and mapping, and are continuing this work with Ca XANES.

Read more: Synchrotron-based micro Fourier transform infrared mapping to investigate the spatial distribution of amorphous and crystalline calcium carbonate in earthworm-secreted calcium carbonate balls

   

Spectroscopic evidences to understand the influence of marine environments on Built Heritage

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This article looks at the use of Raman and XRF spectroscopies to investigate the different deterioration processes caused by marine aerosols. These techniques can detect the decay compounds and the original composition of the different materials from historical buildings close to the sea, which can then be used to explain the reactions that take place on them. This helps in the development of remedial actions and preventive conservation strategies for historical buildings.

Read more: Spectroscopic evidences to understand the influence of marine environments on Built Heritage

   

Dates and fates of pyrogenic carbon: using spectroscopy to understand a “missing” global carbon sink

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Research into climate change takes many directions, but storing carbon or understanding its release from stores is extremely important. Philippa Ascough, Michael Bird, Will Meredith and Colin Snape tell us about “Dates and fates of pyrogenic carbon: using spectroscopy to understand a “missing” global carbon sink”. Pyrogenic carbon comes from the incomplete burning of biomass, and can be natural, e.g. wild fires, or man-made, e.g. the production of charcoal. The authors describe the uses of a range of spectroscopy techniques to understand the molecular structure of pyrogenic carbon and its role in the global carbon cycle..

Read more: Dates and fates of pyrogenic carbon: using spectroscopy to understand a “missing” global carbon sink

   

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