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Mobile UV/Vis/NIR spectroscopy - pigment, color and material analysis

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Spectroscopic examinations enable us to perform non-destructive material analysis often used in damage analysis or forgery detection. We sometimes also use analytical methods such as mobile UV/Vis/NIR spectroscopy for the restorative examination of findings. On this basis, we develop an individual conservation or restoration concept. The scientific analysis allows us to identify materials and formulations.

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What are the advantages of mobile UV/Vis/NIR spectroscopy?

We use mobile UV/Vis/NIR spectroscopy for material analysis to prepare our conservation and restoration measures. It offers numerous advantages because

  • it is non-destructive
  • it is mobile,
  • it is fast,
  • it allows the identification of inorganic pigments and organic dyes,
  • the carrier material does not matter (textile, wood, canvas, wall plaster).

The method allows both qualitative and quantitative analysis of the sample material. It lets us determine not only the sample material but also the concentration. For example, this opens excellent analysis possibilities for pigment-binder formulations.

How does mobile UV/Vis/NIR spectroscopy work?

The mobile UV/Vis/NIR spectroscopy (also known as UV/Vis/NIR spectrophotometry or electron absorption spectroscopy) is a spectroscopic technique that belongs to optical molecular spectroscopy. This spectroscopic technique works with the following ranges of optical radiation:

  • Light of the visible spectral range (vis for short) wavelength range 400 to 780 nanometers.
  • NIR spectroscopy (near-infrared, or NIR for short) works with light between 780 and 2,500 nanometers in wavelength
  • Ultraviolet radiation (UV for short) in the wavelength range from 100 to 400 nanometers

A light source emits electromagnetic radiation in visible, ultraviolet, and near-infrared wavelengths. A mirror guides the light through the sample and toward a photosensitive detector. Once the radiation is guided through the sample, electrons are stimulated and the intensity of the radiation is attenuated. Some of the irradiated light is absorbed by the sample material, others reflected and transmitted. The detector measures this difference in radiation intensity and displays the result as a spectrum.

Mobile UV/Vis/NIR spectroscopy:

Translating the spectrum for the purpose of the restoration examination

Since different materials attenuate radiation in different wavelength ranges to different degrees, the spectrum is material-specific -  like an optical fingerprint. The sample material can be identified using a reference spectrum. The reference database of the Restoration Center of the Bavarian Administration of State Palaces, Gardens, and Lakes already includes reference spectra of about 7000 materials. As a result, we can identify over 90 percent of the analyzed pigments and about 80 percent of the sampled dyes.

ZRW Berlin:

Mobile material analysis with
UV/Vis/NIR spectroscopy

We use the following systems for our measurements:

  • TIDAS® E Basis VIS/NIR: compact and portable spectrometer for use with external light sources.

TIDAS® S 300 MMS VIS/NIR 3011:
spectral sensor with diode array and a monolithic optical bench optimized for color measurements.

Both measurement systems are portable, and we do not have to transport your piece of furniture, wooden interior, or art object in need of renovation to a laboratory to subject it to spectroscopic examination.

Get in touch with us! Our wood and furniture restorers at the Zentralen Restaurierungswerkstatt Berlin will advise you on the feasibility of any scientific analysis such as mobile UV/Vis/NIR spectroscopy for material analysis for your restoration project. As a specialist workshop for furniture restoration, we attach great importance to subjecting your piece of furniture or wooden object to a personal assessment at your premises in Berlin or Brandenburg.

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