Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations

New method to identify inks could help preserve historical documents

Date:
June 18, 2014
Source:
American Chemical Society
Summary:
The inks on historical documents can hold many secrets. Its ingredients can help trace trade routes and help understand a work's historical significance. And knowing how the ink breaks down can help cultural heritage scientists preserve valuable treasures. Researchers report the development of a new, non-destructive method that can identify many types of inks on various papers and other surfaces.

A better way to analyze inks could help preserve treasured historical documents.
Credit: ACS

The inks on historical documents can hold many secrets. Its ingredients can help trace trade routes and help understand a work's historical significance. And knowing how the ink breaks down can help cultural heritage scientists preserve valuable treasures. In a study published in the Journal of the American Chemical Society, researchers report the development of a new, non-destructive method that can identify many types of inks on various papers and other surfaces.

Richard Van Duyne, Nilam Shah and colleagues explain that the challenge for analyzing inks on historical documents is that there's often very little of it to study. Another complication is that plant- or insect-based inks, as well as some synthetic ones, are composed of organic molecules, which break down easily when exposed to light. Current methods are not very specific or sensitive or can leave a residue on a document. To address these issues, the research team set out to develop a different way to analyze and identify historical inks.

They used the novel method, called tip-enhanced Raman spectroscopy (TERS), to analyze indigo and iron gall inks on freshly dyed rice papers. They also studied ink on a letter written in the 19th century. "This proof-of-concept work confirms the analytical potential of TERS as a new spectroscopic tool for cultural heritage applications that can identify organic colorants in artworks with high sensitivity, high spatial resolution, and minimal invasiveness," say the researchers.

The authors acknowledge funding from the Andrew W. Mellon Foundation, the Grainger Foundation and the National Science Foundation.


Story Source:

The above story is based on materials provided by American Chemical Society. Note: Materials may be edited for content and length.


Journal Reference:

  1. Dmitry Kurouski, Stephanie Zaleski, Francesca Casadio, Richard P. Van Duyne, Nilam C. Shah. Tip-Enhanced Raman Spectroscopy (TERS) forin SituIdentification of Indigo and Iron Gall Ink on Paper. Journal of the American Chemical Society, 2014; 136 (24): 8677 DOI: 10.1021/ja5027612

Cite This Page:

American Chemical Society. "New method to identify inks could help preserve historical documents." ScienceDaily. ScienceDaily, 18 June 2014. <www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2014/06/140618122257.htm>.
American Chemical Society. (2014, June 18). New method to identify inks could help preserve historical documents. ScienceDaily. Retrieved July 30, 2014 from www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2014/06/140618122257.htm
American Chemical Society. "New method to identify inks could help preserve historical documents." ScienceDaily. www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2014/06/140618122257.htm (accessed July 30, 2014).

Share This




More Matter & Energy News

Wednesday, July 30, 2014

Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations


Featured Videos

from AP, Reuters, AFP, and other news services

Climate Change Could Cost Billions, According To White House

Climate Change Could Cost Billions, According To White House

Newsy (July 29, 2014) A report from the White House warns not curbing greenhouse gas emissions could cost the U.S. billions. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com
Stranded Whale Watching Boat Returns to Boston

Stranded Whale Watching Boat Returns to Boston

Reuters - US Online Video (July 29, 2014) Passengers stuck overnight on a whale watching boat return safely to Boston. Linda So reports. Video provided by Reuters
Powered by NewsLook.com
Baluchistan Mining Eyes an Uncertain Future

Baluchistan Mining Eyes an Uncertain Future

AFP (July 29, 2014) Coal mining is one of the major industries in Baluchistan but a lack of infrastructure and frequent accidents mean that the area has yet to hit its potential. Duration: 01:58 Video provided by AFP
Powered by NewsLook.com
Easier Nuclear Construction Promises Fall Short

Easier Nuclear Construction Promises Fall Short

AP (July 29, 2014) The U.S. nuclear industry started building its first new plants using prefabricated Lego-like blocks meant to save time and prevent the cost overruns that crippled the sector decades ago. So far, it's not working. (July 29) Video provided by AP
Powered by NewsLook.com

Search ScienceDaily

Number of stories in archives: 140,361

Find with keyword(s):
Enter a keyword or phrase to search ScienceDaily for related topics and research stories.

Save/Print:
Share:

Breaking News:
from the past week

In Other News

... from NewsDaily.com

Science News

Health News

Environment News

Technology News



Save/Print:
Share:

Free Subscriptions


Get the latest science news with ScienceDaily's free email newsletters, updated daily and weekly. Or view hourly updated newsfeeds in your RSS reader:

Get Social & Mobile


Keep up to date with the latest news from ScienceDaily via social networks and mobile apps:

Have Feedback?


Tell us what you think of ScienceDaily -- we welcome both positive and negative comments. Have any problems using the site? Questions?
Mobile: iPhone Android Web
Follow: Facebook Twitter Google+
Subscribe: RSS Feeds Email Newsletters
Latest Headlines Health & Medicine Mind & Brain Space & Time Matter & Energy Computers & Math Plants & Animals Earth & Climate Fossils & Ruins