Analysis of natural and artificial ultramarine blue pigments using laser induced breakdown and pulsed Raman spectroscopy, statistical analysis and light microscopy

I. Osticioli*, N. F. C. Mendes, A. Nevin, Francisco P.S.C. Gil, M. Becucci, E. Castellucci

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

153 Citations (Scopus)

Abstract

Pulsed laser induced breakdown spectroscopy (LIBS) and Raman spectroscopy were performed using a novel laboratory setup employing the same Nd:YAG laser emission at 532 nm for the analysis of five commercially available pigments collectively known as "ultramarine blue", a sodium silicate material of either mineral origin or an artificially produced glass. LIBS and Raman spectroscopy have provided information regarding the elemental and molecular composition of the samples; additionally, an analytical protocol for the differentiation between natural (lapis lazuli) and artificial ultramarine blue pigments is proposed. In particular LIBS analysis has allowed the discrimination between pigments on the basis of peaks ascribed to calcium. The presence of calcite in the natural blue pigments has been confirmed following Raman spectroscopy in specific areas of the samples, and micro-Raman and optical microscopy have further corroborated the presence of calcite inclusions in the samples of natural origin. Finally multivariate analysis of Laser induced breakdown spectra using principal component analysis (PCA) further enhanced the differentiation between natural and artificial ultramarine blue pigments.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)525-531
Number of pages7
JournalSpectrochimica Acta - Part A: Molecular and Biomolecular Spectroscopy
Volume73
Issue number3
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 1 Aug 2009
Externally publishedYes

Keywords

  • Artificial ultramarine
  • Lapis lazuli
  • Laser induced breakdown spectroscopy
  • Lazurite
  • Principal component analysis (PCA)
  • Time-resolved Raman spectroscopy

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