The analytical techniques used at CARAA in collaboration with associated laboratories and universities make use of bench and mobile instruments.

They includes :

  • Optical microscopy (OM): It is the first step of observation of a micro-sample, before any anaytical study.
  • X-ray imaging and tomography: These other technics of observation allow to assess the structural homogeneity of an object respectively in the 2 and 3 dimensions.

Elemental Technics

• Environmental scanning electron microscopy coupled with Energy dispersive spectroscopy (ESEM-EDS): Energy dispersion spectrometer (EDS) provides the elemental composition of pigments in a painting (e.g. Fe for iron oxides, Hg for cinnabar, As for realgar, Cu for azurite, etc..) or helps to determine the chemical content of the different chemical elements (e.g Si, Ca, K, Na,…

Molecular technics

• Raman microscopy : Raman microscopy is a molecular and mineralogical technique that is very efficient for the characterization of metallic alteration products, dies, pigments or siliceous material. Raman microscopy or X-ray diffraction (DX) are often complementary to XRF and allow to obtain the molecular or mineral composition of pigments (e.g., hematite-Fe2O3, cinnabar-HgS-,-realgar As4S4-, malachite…