Table of Contents
Laser Chemistry
Volume 2006, Article ID 39046, 11 pages
Research Article

Multianalytical Study of Laser Pulse Duration Effects in the IR Laser Cleaning of Wall Paintings from the Monumental Cemetery of Pisa

1Dipartimento di Chimica e Chimica Industriale, Università di Pisa, Via Risorgimento 35, Pisa 56126, Italy
2Institute of Electronic Structure and Lasers (IESL), Foundation for Research and Technology-Hellas (FORTH), P.O. Box 1385, Heraklion 71110, Crete, Greece
3Courtauld Institute of Art, University of London, Somerset House, Strand, WC2R 0RN, London, UK
4Department of Physics, University of Crete, P.O. Box 2208, Heraklion 71003, Crete, Greece

Received 15 September 2006; Revised 13 December 2006; Accepted 13 December 2006

Academic Editor: Wolfgang Kautek

Copyright © 2006 A. Andreotti et al. This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License, which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.


The feasibility of laser cleaning for the removal of a variety of surface deposits from fragments of real wall paintings from the monumental cemetery of Pisa using Nd:YAG at 1064 nm at (μs), (ns), and (ps) regimes is presented. Multianalytical investigations of the samples from irradiated surfaces of fragments were carried out in order to characterize the original and added materials and to detect any laser-induced alterations; analysis included scanning electron microscopy (SEM), Fourier transform infrared spectroscopy (FTIR), laser-induced breakdown spectroscopy (LIBS), pyrolysis-gas chromatography-mass spectrometry (PY-GC-MS), and gas chromatography-mass spectrometry (GC-MS). The presence of nitrocellulose and pure lead contaminations on the surface of the samples has been identified. Assessment of the laser cleaning has highlighted the importance of the optimization of laser parameters, specifically pulse duration and fluence at the specified wavelength.