IPERION HSIntegrating Platforms for the European Research Infrastructure ON Heritage Science

External reflection mid/near-FT-IR

Reflection FT-IR spectroscopy is widely used in the field of heritage science for the characterization and identification of organic and inorganic materials. Being a vibrational molecular spectroscopic technique, it provides information concerning the functional groups constituting the molecules ultimately aiding a molecular identification of unlimited materials under exam. The mid-FTIR range is particularly adapt for the recognition of inorganic materials (with some limitations from metal oxides) as well as synthetic and natural organic materials. This technique can provide information concerning any surface contaminations, alterations and products/processes of degrade. The NIR range, collected simultaneously, has also become an increasingly useful analytical tool by providing signals that are characteristic of infrared combination and overtone bands which have very low absorption coefficients. This region provides distinctive features regarding both the chemical composition of organic and inorganic compounds. As the NIR radiation is particularly penetrating, it can for example typically pass through paint layers and reach the ground layer of paintings providing information of pigments and binders alike.

Fields of application

  • Cultural heritage

    archaeological object and site, architecture, art, decorative arts, film, mosaics, photo, plastics, sculpture, textile

  • Natural heritage

    animal product, botanic collection, fossil, mineral, shell, skeleton, taxidermy collection


  • inorganic

    ceramic (clay/mud brick/terracotta/earthenware/stoneware/porcelain), glass, stone, pigments, dyes

  • organic

    animal parts, binding media, glues, wood, paper, textiles, varnishes, dyes


Brucker Optics ALPHA-R spectrometer

The compact Bruker Optics ALPHA-R spectrometer collects infrared radiation reflected from a surface located at 1cm distance. This instrument is equipped with a Globar infrared radiation source, a Michelson interferometer (RockSolid(TM)) modified to work in any environmental condition and spatial orientation and a DLaTGS detector. External reflection mode works with an angle of incidence of...

Contact person
Francesca Rosi