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Proceedings Paper

In-fiber optical coherence tomograph for examination of paintings
Author(s): Adrian Podoleanu; Haida Liang; Marta Gomez Cid; Radu Cucu; George Dobre; Justin Pedro; David R. Saunders
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Paper Abstract

Scientific examinations of paintings are routinely carried out in major galleries and museums to assist in conservation treatment and as part of technical or art historical examinations. Care is taken to examine the paintings non-destructively as far as possible. However, in order to study the paint and varnish layers, it is still currently necessary to take tiny samples of a painting to examine the cross section of a small area of the painting under a microscope. In an attempt to solve this problem we evaluate the potential of optical coherence tomography (OCT) in providing high resolution information about paint layers. Two OCT systems have been assembled, operating at 850 nm and 1300 nm, each using two single mode in-fiber couplers. Both systems can produce A (reflectivity profile in depth), T (lateral reflectivity profile), B (cross section image) and C-scans (constant depth image). Using superluminiscent diodes, a depth resolution better than 9 microns is achieved. We present results of applying OCT to sample panels and paintings. We show that infrared OCT is capable of non-destructive examination of paintings in 3D, which shows not only the structure of the varnish layer but also the paint layers. The OCT images present better microscopic tomography of the surface of the varnish and paint layers than any system currently employed in the examination of paintings. OCT could also be used for accurate measurement of the thickness of the varnish layer on a painting.

Paper Details

Date Published: 10 November 2005
PDF: 6 pages
Proc. SPIE 6004, Fiber Optic Sensor Technology and Applications IV, 600401 (10 November 2005); doi: 10.1117/12.630185
Show Author Affiliations
Adrian Podoleanu, Univ. of Kent, Canterbury (United Kingdom)
Haida Liang, Nottingham Trent Univ. (United Kingdom)
Marta Gomez Cid, Univ. of Kent, Canterbury (United Kingdom)
Radu Cucu, Univ. of Kent, Canterbury (United Kingdom)
George Dobre, Univ. of Kent, Canterbury (United Kingdom)
Justin Pedro, Ophthalmic Technologies Inc. (Canada)
David R. Saunders, British Museum (United Kingdom)

Published in SPIE Proceedings Vol. 6004:
Fiber Optic Sensor Technology and Applications IV
Michael A. Marcus; Brian Culshaw; John P. Dakin, Editor(s)

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