IPERION HSIntegrating Platforms for the European Research Infrastructure ON Heritage Science

CTinHS Lecture 5 – 2023/24: 

Bernhard Blümich will deliver the 5th lecture of the 2nd edition of the “Current Topics in Heritage Science”: Portable NMR for structural diagnostic in heritage science on Thursday, February 22nd at 3.00 pm (CET). 

Portable NMR for structural diagnostic in heritage science

The preservation and restoration strategies of tangible cultural heritage preferably rely on nondestructive methods of analysis. One such method is nuclear magnetic resonance (NMR) known from spectroscopy for chemical analysis and imaging (MRI) for medical diagnostics. We have made NMR instruments small and portable, suitable for nondestructive testing of large objects. How portable NMR works and how the instrument is operated will be explained, and its use in analyzing objects of cultural heritage will be illustrated in three case studies: 1) Comparative investigation of the mortar-layer stratigraphy of Roman frescoes; 2) the preservation state of master violins; and 3) the effect of solvent in varnish removal of easel paintings. 

February 22nd, 2024 at 3 pm (CET)

You will learn

  • How does portable NMR work 
  • Which materials can be analyzed 
  • Which information is gained 
  • How to execute measurements 
  • How to interpret the data 

Key topics we’ll cover

  • Introduction to using portable NMR 
  • Mortar stratigraphy frescoes 
  • Preservation of violins 
  • Varnish removal from easel paintings 

45 minutes (30 minutes presentation + 15 minutes Q&A)


The work of Prof. Bernhard Blümich aims at understanding the macroscopic properties of polymer and porous materials including tangible cultural heritage by NMR on a microscopic and molecular basis. He was Chair of Macromolecular Chemistry at RWTH Aachen University and is cofounder and director of Magritek Ltd., a manufacturer of tabletop NMR spectrometers and the NMR-MOUSE. He developed and applied NMR methods for NMR spectroscopy of liquids and solids, NMR imaging of heterogeneous materials and fluid transport, and NMR relaxation and diffusion techniques. His recent work focuses on compact NMR instruments for non-destructive materials testing and on diffusion under confinement. He has (co-)authored the books NMR Imaging of Materials (Oxford University Press, 2002), Compact NMR (de Gruyter, 2014), and Essential NMR (Springer, 2019). 


Registration form for Lecture 5 – 2023/24