Terahertz Spectroscopy and Imaging Techniques for Conservation Science: Innovative non-invasive observation methods
Dr. Kaori Fukunaga
Applied Electromagnetic Research Center of the National Institute of Information and Communications Technology, Tokyo, Japan
November 18, 2009
About the Webcast:
View webcast (53:48 minutes)
About the Lecture:
Terahertz (THz) spectroscopy and imaging technologies have been actively developed in recent decades. THz waves (0.1–10 THz) are non-invasive, can penetrate opaque materials, and can be used to obtain fingerprint spectra whose characteristics depend upon intermolecular behavior. Most pigments and some synthetic polymers have characteristic fingerprint spectra in the THz region, and can be identified alone or as with paint, a combination of pigments and binders. THz imaging has been already applied to fields such as airport security issues and defect detection in spacecraft parts. The National Institute of Information and Communications Technology (Tokyo, Japan) has proposed to use THz technologies as a non-invasive method for the analysis of paintings.
The first application of THz imaging in the analysis of a historical tempera masterpiece was performed on the panel painting "Polittico di Badia" by Giotto, from the permanent collection of the Uffizi Gallery, with Istituto di Fisica Applicata "Nello Carrara"-Consiglio Nazionale delle Ricerche (Florence, Italy). The THz imaging created a non-invasive cross section revealing the painting layers from the wood support to the surface, including two gesso layers present in medieval panel paintings. THz imaging can provide practical information for conservators, such as the depth of cracks from the surface and the shape of gold foil under the paint layer. The presentation outlined the progress of THz technology, illustrating this with examples of THz analysis in the field of art conservation research. Technical issues, including the development of a spectral database and measurement protocols, were discussed.
About the Speaker:
Kaori Fukunaga received her Ph.D. in engineering from Tokyo Denki University in 1993 while she was working at Fujikura Ltd. She joined the National Institute of Information and Communications Technology (NICT) in 1994, and is a research manager in the Applied Electromagnetic Research Center, and a member of NICT's cross-departmental THz project. Her current research fields include deterioration analysis of dielectric and electrical insulating materials, and industrial applications of millimeter wave and terahertz technologies. She has been an art lover since childhood, and studied the history of Renaissance art at a private Italian school. She is a member of IEEE and IIC.