Edinburgh Instruments Spectrometers Find Ancient Egyptian Blue Pigment is a Strong NIR Emitter

The Edinburgh Instruments applications team and Dr Gianluca Accorsi, a Research Fellow at CNR Nanotec in Lecce, Italy, worked on the photo-physical properties of Egyptian blue pigment using our Fluorescence Spectrometers.

The interest in non-invasive investigations for the study and identification of painting materials has greatly increased during the past two decades. The nature of museum objects is such that sampling is always kept to a minimum, thus, a spectroscopic approach is ideal for this purpose.

An ancient pigment, cuprorivaite, CaCuSi4O10 or otherwise called Egyptian blue, has been photo-physically investigated.

The investigation includes qualitative information, i.e. emission and excitation spectra, as well as quantitative that is the photoluminescence quantum yields (PLQY) that have been obtained in the near-infrared (NIR) region.

The pigment proved to be a strong NIR emitter, with the highest known quantum efficiency for a molecule-level chromophore.

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(Photos courtesy of  Gianluca Accorsi of CNR NANO, Lecce and Giovanni Verri of The Courtauld Institute of Art, London)
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