Application of spectrometric and hyperspectral imaging techniques to the study of cultural heritage materials
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- Institutt for kjemi 
Works of art are often heterogeneous structures made up of different inorganic or organic materials, which may be of either natural or artificial origin. As a rule, they are not inert structures but frequently undergo ageing and degradation phenomena due to the interaction between their constituents and the surrounding environment. In order to better preserve works of art as well as plan the suitable conservation undertaking, a detailed assessment of the materials is required. Moreover, the knowledge of material properties can also provide enlightening insights on artists’ techniques. For this reasons, physico-chemical investigations are essential when evaluating the state of a work of art, since they provide information on constituent materials at various levels, from macro-structure, going underneath, via microscopic details, to molecular composition. In this Thesis, different physico-chemical techniques have been employed to investigate various cultural heritage materials and products of their deterioration, namely, pigments in decorated manuscripts, salt efflorescence in historic wooden buildings and corrosion products on the famous sculpture “The Man with the Key” by Auguste Rodin in Oslo. These investigations were intended to solve practical problems connected with artworks, edifices and monuments of importance for Norway and, most importantly, to offer a significant contribution to the progress investigation techniques and development of analytical protocols for the study of the above mentioned materials. Among the different techniques utilized in this work, hyperspectral imaging in combination with chemometrics has proved to be very promising for the characterization and mapping of pigments and corrosion products. In the case of characterization of corrosion products on the bronze sculpture, the application of hyperspectral imaging here represents a real novelty. New analytical protocols, which combine several standard and advanced physico-chemical techniques, have been devised for the study of salt efflorescence, pigments in manuscripts and corrosion products. Protocols devised in this work allow a detailed characterization of the cultural heritage materials under investigation. The results of this research program revealed important information on the degradation phenomena in historic wooden houses and corrosion of an outdoor bronze sculpture in Oslo. Investigations of pigments in a 15th century manuscript (Antiphonary) allowed dating the miniatures to a later 19th century intervention. In conclusion, the research work presented in this Thesis contributes to a more detailed characterization of cultural heritage artefacts in Norway. At the same time, it contributes to the advancement of research methodology applied to the study of the cultural heritage materials and artefacts.