Applications of laser-induced breakdown spectroscopy in Cultural Heritage
Laser-induced breakdown spectroscopy (LIBS) is explored as an analytical tool for the characterization of samples of interest in archaeology and architectural heritage. The minimally destructive character of LIBS and easy portability make this technology an ideal tool for the quantitative and qualitative analysis of these special materials. The development of portable laser technology has enabled the evaluation and in-situ characterization of important metal collections of the Bronze Age. In addition, the portable analyzer has also been used for in-situ characterization of materials used in the construction of the Cathedral of Malaga. Laser cleaning is being used in the laser laboratory of UMA as an advanced tool in the restoration and conservation of metal objects.
Application of laser-based spectral techniques for underwater archeology is also being explored. This project aims at developing a LIBS-Raman probe enabling the identification and evaluation in the deep sea of archaeological materials in the coast of Andalusia. These techniques also permit the inspection of geological materials in real environments such as the Cueva de Nerja. Alteration layers were studied in stalactites and stalagmites by portable analyzers. Materials tested include metals, noble alloys, ceramics, wood, paints, varnishes, pigments, textiles, sculptures, stone, rocks, and paintings.