Development of new instruments and methods

One of the main research topics is the development of new instruments and methods for material analysis in cultural heritage. It can be carried out thanks to the fundamental support of the INFN and Torino University engineers. In particular apparatus for ion and x-ray beams based analysis have been realized and are also under upgrading.

Regarding ion beam analysis many efforts were made on ionoluminescence (IL); the activity started about 15 years ago inside the solid state physics group. In 1999 an Oxford Mono CL2 apparatus was installed on the in vacuum analysis chamber of the proton μ-beam line at the AN2000 accelerator (INFN-LNL Laboratory in Padua, Italy) [Vittone 2001]. The Legnaro IL apparatus was used mainly for the study of new materials and devices, but also materials of archaeological interest were analyzed. In 2007 an IL apparatus was designed and mounted on the in air ion μ-beam line at the INFN-LABEC laboratory in Firenze [Calusi 2008, Colombo 2008]. In collaboration with Firenze researchers this apparatus was used mainly for lapis lazuli provenance studies but it can be used also on other type of rocks and materials. In 2012 the LABEC apparatus was upgraded adding a camera for broad beam IL microscopy that was necessary to quickly study the overall luminescence properties of investigated materials [Lo Giudice 2012].

Starting from 2007 an intense activity on the development of innovative 2D and 3D (tomography) x-ray imaging systems was carried out.
At now three digital radiography (DR) and tomography (CT) apparatus are operative. The first is dedicated to μ-CT and DR at high resolution and it is hosted at the Physics Department. The second one was designed to perform x-ray imaging on large objects; it was installed at the CCR "La Venaria Reale" and it can perform analysis on works of art up to about 3.1 m x 2.7 m for DR and up 2.5 m x 2 m for TC [Re 2016, Lo Giudice 2017]. Finally, the third apparatus was recently developed (2019/2020) at Nanostructured Interfaces and Surface (NIS) centre of the Univeristy of Torino; the particularlty of the apparatus is the use of a liquid anode X-ray source, able to achieve significantly higher brightness and smaller spot sizes than any other available microfocus X-ray source

Moreover, an apparatus for differential radiography for quantitative two-dimensional mapping of single elements on paintings was built [Re 2012]. All the apparatus are continuously upgraded.

At last a portable X-ray luminescence system is also under development. It will be integrated in a portable XRF instrument to perform both analysis at the same time [Re 2018, Taccetti 2019]

In the figures are shown respectively, the broad beam IL microscopy at INFN-LABEC laboratory, a phase of the assembly of the x-ray imaging apparatus for large objects inside the radio-protected room at the CCR "La Venaria Reale" and the new laboratory at NIS.


[Calusi 2008] Calusi S. et al."The new ionoluminescence apparatus at the LABEC external microbeam facility" Nuclear Instruments and Methods in Physics Research B 266 (2008) 2306-2310

[Colombo 2008] Colombo E. et al."Recent developments of ion beam induced luminescence at the external scanning microbeam facility of the LABEC Laboratory in Florence", Nuclear Instruments and Methods in Physics Research B, 266 (2008) 1527-1532

[Lo Giudice 2012] Lo Giudice A. et al. "In-air broad beam ionoluminescence microscopy as a tool for rocks and stone artworks characterisation", Analytical and Bioanalytical Chemistry 404(1): 277-281 (2012)

[Lo Giudice 2017] Lo Giudice A. et al. "A new digital radiography system for paintings on canvas and on wooden panels of large dimensions", IEEE International Instrumentation and Measurement Technology Conference (I2MTC 2017) Proceedings, IEEE (NJ, USA): FP17IMT-ART, 1834-1839 (2017)

[Re 2012] Re A. et al. "Results of the Italian neu_ART project", IOP Conference Series: Materials Science and Engineering 37: 012007 (2012)

[Re 2018] Re A. et al. "Towards a portable X-Ray Luminescence instrument for applications in the Cultural Heritage field", European Physical Journal Plus (2018) 133: 362

[Taccetti 2019] Taccetti F. et al. "A multipurpose X-Ray Fluorescence scanner developed for in situ analysis", Rendiconti Lincei. Scienze Fisiche e Naturali (2019) 30:307-322

[Vittone 2001] Vittone E. et al. "Light detection with spectral analysis at the Legnaro Nuclear Microprobe: applications in material and earth sciences", Nuclear Instruments and Methods in Physics Research B 181 (2001) 134-139