Skip to Main content Skip to Navigation
Journal articles

Proton beam modification of lead white pigments

L. Beck 1, 2 P. C. Gutiérrez 2 F. Miserque 3 L. Thomé 4
3 LECA - Laboratoire d'Etude de la Corrosion Aqueuse
SCCME - Service de la Corrosion et du Comportement des Matériaux dans leur Environnement : DEN/DPC/SCCME/LECA
CSNSM - Centre de Spectrométrie Nucléaire et de Spectrométrie de Masse
Abstract : Pigments and paint materials are known to be sensitive to particle irradiation. Occasionally, the analysis of paintings by PIXE can induce a slight or dark stain depending on the experimental conditions (beam current, dose, particle energy). In order to understand this discoloration, we have irradiated various types of art white pigments - lead white (hydroxycerussite and basic lead sulphate), gypsum, calcite, zinc oxide and titanium oxide - with an external 3 MeV proton micro-beam commonly used for PIXE experiments. We have observed various sensitivities depending on the pigment. No visible change occurs for calcite and titanium oxide, whereas lead white pigments are very sensitive. For the majority of the studied compounds, the discoloration is proportional to the beam current and charge. The damage induced by proton beam irradiation in lead white pigments was studied by micro-Raman and XPS spectroscopies. Structural modifications and dehydration were detected. Damage recovery was investigated by thermal treatment and UV-light irradiation. The discoloration disappeared after one week of UV illumination, showing that PIXE experiments could be safely undertaken for pigments and paintings.
Complete list of metadatas
Contributor : Christine Hadrossek <>
Submitted on : Monday, January 28, 2013 - 4:19:06 PM
Last modification on : Wednesday, September 16, 2020 - 5:42:43 PM




L. Beck, P. C. Gutiérrez, F. Miserque, L. Thomé. Proton beam modification of lead white pigments. Nuclear Instruments and Methods in Physics Research Section B: Beam Interactions with Materials and Atoms, Elsevier, 2013, article in press, ⟨10.1016/j.nimb.2012.12.073⟩. ⟨in2p3-00781928⟩



Record views