X-ray mapping and scatter diagram analysis of the discoloring products resulting from the interaction of artist's pigments

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Journal Article
Microscopy and Microanalysis, 2010, 16 (5), pp. 594 - 598
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The discoloring interaction between the artist's pigments cadmium yellow and the copper-containing malachite, an interaction that is conjectured to cause black spotting in oil paintings of the 19th and early 20th centuries, was examined using X-ray mapping and scatter diagram analysis. The application of these coupled techniques confirmed that copper sulfide phases were produced during discoloration reaction. Scatter diagram analysis indicated that two copper sulfide stoichiometries (CuS and Cu3S2) were present as reaction products where previously only crystalline CuS (covellite) had been identified by X-ray diffraction. The results demonstrate the potential of X-ray mapping coupled with scatter diagram analysis for the identification of both crystalline and X-ray amorphous phases produced by such complex heterogeneous interactions and their applicability to the investigation of interactions of artists' pigments. © Microscopy Society of America 2010.
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