Laboratory Equipment

Currently the AA&R laboratory is equipped with:

  • A polarised light microscope with UV fluorescence and UV-visible-near IR micro-spectrophotometer (‘PLM’; Leica DMRX microscope and Ocean Optics S-1000 fibre spectrometer), used for particle characterisation and for the examination of paint cross-sections;
  • A scanning electron microscope with energy dispersive X-ray spectrometry (‘SEM-EDX’; Hitachi T-1000 SEM and Oxford Instruments EDX), used for elemental analysis of small samples;
  • A Raman microscope (Bruker Senterra), used for molecular characterisation of small samples;
  • A Fourier transform infrared spectroscopy system (‘FTIR’; Bruker Vertex with Hyperion 3000 microscope and focal-plane array detector), used for molecular characterisation and mapping of small samples;
  • Pyrolysis-Gas chromatography-Mass spectrometry (‘GCMS’ and ‘py-GCMS’; Varian 450-GC gas chromatograph with 320-MS mass selective detector and a CDS Pyroprobe 5150), used for identification of organic binding media such as drying oils and synthetic resins.
  • High performance liquid chromatography (‘HPLC’; Varian ProStar 335 LC-DAD detector, 212-LC pumps and 410 autosampler), used for identification of dyestuffs;
  • A micro-focus X-ray fluorescence (‘µXRF’; Bruker Artax 800) and a fibre-optic probe for the Raman system, allowing in situ measurements to be made on paintings for pigment characterisation.

We also undertake other forms of analysis in house, such as diagnostic staining of paint samples for proteins, or in external collaboration with colleagues, such as for ‘bomb curve’ radiocarbon measurements and dendrochronology.