A quick read on a case study on the use of SEM and EDS analysis of historical paintings was recently put up by Imaging & Microscopy. The analysis of paint pigments by light microscopy is a powerful application in the field of art history and conservation. Bay adding SEM and EDS analysis it is possible to add even more information about the use of various pigments and help understand the painting styles of significant artists. Also, from a historical perspective it is useful to track the trade in certain materials across cultures and geographies. But, perhaps most importantly, it is possible to detect fraudulent or counterfeit art before it goes to auction and ends up on display as an original work.
Recently in Publications Category
Interesting paper just put out in Microscopy Research and Technique. I'm no entomologist, but I do know that certain species of insects look different when imaged using non-visible wavelengths of light (UV or IR). This paper shows how the silk moth species Antheraea assamensis actually does it. The moths were imaged using UV photography, then the wing scales were imaged using SEM. Based on the SEM observation of the scale morphology the authors explained the optical properties and showed how the mating behavior changed under different lighting conditions.
Two articles in the recently renovated Microscopy Today are worth your time to read.
First is application of SEM/EDS to archaeology on Page 28. It presents two case studies where ancient paints are analyzed using SEM and EDS. The second case study has an interesting observation on using the ratio of Pb M(beta) to Pb M(gamma) x-ray lines to possibly discriminate lead oxides from lead carbonates (which is kind of a big deal).
Second is an overview of how beam deceleration is used to improve low accelerating voltage imaging in non-FE SEMs.
Alberto Pérez-Huertaa1 c1 and Maggie Cusacka1
a1 Department of Geographical and Earth Sciences, University of Glasgow, G12 8QQ Glasgow, UK
Electron backscatter diffraction (EBSD) is becoming a widely used technique to determine crystallographic orientation in biogenic carbonates. Despite this use, there is little information available on preparation for the analysis of biogenic carbonates. EBSD data are compared for biogenic aragonite and calcite in the common blue mussel, Mytilus edulis, using different types of resin and thicknesses of carbon coating. Results indicate that carbonate biomineral samples provide better EBSD results if they are embedded in resin, particularly epoxy resin. A uniform layer of carbon of 2.5 nm thickness provides sufficient conductivity for EBSD analyses of such insulators to avoid charging without masking the diffracted signal. Diffraction intensity decreases with carbon coating thickness of 5 nm or more. This study demonstrates the importance of optimizing sample preparation for EBSD analyses of insulators such as carbonate biominerals.