Revealing Hidden Features in Multilayered Artworks by Means of an Epi-Illumination Photoacoustic Imaging System

Year: 2021

Authors: Tserevelakis G.J., Chaban A., Klironomou E., Melessanaki K., Striova J., Zacharakis G.

Autors Affiliation: -Institute of Electronic Structure and Laser, Foundation for Research and Technology Hellas,
-National Institute of Optics INO-CNR, 50125 Florence, Italy

Abstract: Photoacoustic imaging is a novel, rapidly expanding technique, which has recently found several applications in artwork diagnostics, including the uncovering of hidden layers in paintings and multilayered documents, as well as the thickness measurement of optically turbid paint layers with high accuracy. However, thus far, all the presented photoacoustic-based imaging technologies dedicated to such measurements have been strictly limited to thin objects due to the detection of signals in transmission geometry. Unavoidably, this issue restricts seriously the applicability of the imaging method, hindering investigations over a wide range of cultural heritage objects with diverse geometrical and structural features. Here, we present an epi-illumination photoacoustic apparatus for diagnosis in heritage science, which integrates laser excitation and respective signal detection on one side, aiming to provide universal information in objects of arbitrary thickness and shape. To evaluate the capabilities of the developed system, we imaged thickly painted mock-ups, in an attempt to reveal hidden graphite layers covered by various optically turbid paints, and compared the measurements with standard near-infrared (NIR) imaging. The obtained results prove that photoacoustic signals reveal underlying sketches with up to 8 times improved contrast, thus paving the way for more relevant applications in the field.


Volume: 7 (9)      Pages from: 183-1  to: 183-11

More Information: This work was supported by the H2020 Laserlab Europe (EC-GA 871124), the H2020 FETOPEN project “Dynamic” (EC-GA-863203), the NSRF 2014-2020 “BIOIMAGING-GR” (MIS 5002755), HELLAS CH (MIS 5002735), “INNOVAPROTECT” (MIS 5030524) funded by the Operational Program “Competitiveness, Entrepreneurship, and Innovation” under the calls Reinforcement of the Research and Innovation Infrastructure and RESEARCH-CREATE-INNOVATE, respectively, and co-financed by Greece and the European Union (European Regional Development Fund). Furtherly, it was co-financed by the funds of POR FSE 2014-2020 Giovanisi of the Tuscany Region (Italy) within the frames of program “CNR4C” (Joint Advanced Education Project 249795).
KeyWords: photoacoustic; imaging; diagnostics;cultural heritage; artwork; underdrawings
DOI: 10.3390/jimaging7090183

Citations: 8
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