Study of foxing stains on paper by chemical methods, infrared spectroscopy, micro-X-ray fluorescence spectrometry and laser induced breakdown spectroscopy

Year: 2002

Authors: Bicchieri M., Ronconi S., Romano F.P., Pappalardo L., Corsi M., Cristoforetti G., Legnaioli S., Palleschi V., Salvetti A., Tognoni E.

Autors Affiliation: Ist Cent Patol Libro, Chim Lab, I-00184 Rome, Italy;
Ist Nazl Fis Nucl, Lab Nazl Sud, I-95100 Catania, Italy;
CNR, Sez Catania, Ist Beni Archeol & Monumentali, I-95124 Catania, Italy;
CNR, Ist Proc. Chimico fisici, Area Ric Pisa, I-56124 Pisa, Italy

Abstract: Foxing spots appear on the paper as stains of reddish-brown, brown or yellowish color, generally of small dimensions, with sharp or irregular edges, most of which, if excited with UV light, show fluorescence. The formation mechanisms of foxed areas have been studied since 1935, however, despite more recent intensive research there are still no conclusive results. Some authors found evidence of bacterial or fungal growth in some foxed areas sometimes associated with the presence of iron. We decided to focus our attention on the influence of the different iron valence in the formation of stains in the paper. For this reason we artificially induced the formation of foxing by adding to the paper small, known quantities of iron (III) and iron (II) ions. We prepared aqueous solutions of ferric chloride and ferrous sulfate at three different concentrations and we always used the same quantity of each solution (5 mul) to obtain a foxing stain. Part of the paper samples was artificially aged in a climatic chamber at 80 degreesC, 65% relative humidity for 15 days and part was submitted to aging for the same period at ambient temperatures under UV light at 240 nm. All papers were then analyzed for stain diameter, chromaticity coordinates, fluorescence under UV illumination, water content in the paper and in the spots, carbonyl content and then examined with infrared spectroscopy, X-ray fluorescence spectrometry and laser induced breakdown spectroscopy. Infrared spectra were collected in transmittance from potassium bromide pellets or directly in reflectance under microscope; X-ray fluorescence analysis were carried out using an X-ray microbeam (350 mum beam spot; W X-ray tube) and LIBS analysis with Nd:YAG laser coupled with a Czerny-Turner spectrometer. As a result it is stated that the foxing phenomenon is related to a strong oxidation of the cellulose chain. Concerning the color coordinates there are no great differences between samples treated with iron (III) and iron (II). Carbonyl content, on the contrary, varies for the two sets of samples, especially in relation with the kind of aging. mu-XRF and LIBS measurements show a relationship between iron valence and calcium ion displacement in the foxed areas. (C) 2002 Elsevier Science B.V All rights reserved.


Volume: 57 (7)      Pages from: 1235  to: 1249

KeyWords: spectroscopy; cultural heritage;
DOI: 10.1016/S0584-8547(02)00056-3

Citations: 50
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