Weekly outline

  • General

  • 19 September - 25 September

    No Lecture.

    • 26 September - 2 October


      • Materials, a short introduction.
      • Overview of the course, aims and organisation.

    • 3 October - 9 October


      • Ancient Materials, definition and specificity.
      • Overview of typical domains of research on ancient materials: material provenance and trading, art technology, degradation phenomena, preventive conservation.
    • 10 October - 16 October

      Focus on technique (XAS)

      • Overview of light-matter interactions
      • Introduction to synchrotron light (generation, selection, focusing)
      • First elements of the physics behind X-ray absorption spectroscopy
      • Chemical and structural information obtained by XANES and EXAFS

    • 17 October - 23 October

      Case-study 1: Exercise session

      • Case-study: Discoloration of smalt pigment in oil paintings by X-ray absorption spectroscopy and elemental analysis, based on article published in Analytical Chemistry.
      • Emphasis on the structure of the paper and its introduction, introduction to the concepts WHAT/WHY/WHERE/HOW which illustrates the fundamental principles of what research is, how it is conducted and how it is reported.

    • 24 October - 30 October

      Case-study 1: Focus on structure of research

      • Correction exercise
      • Analysis of the results, their correlation and their interpretation to reach a clear output/conclusion

    • 31 October - 6 November

      No lecture scheduled (open day EPFL).

      • 7 November - 13 November

        Case-study 1: Practical session and exercise

        Some small but practical focus shots:

        • Focus on the calculation of X-ray attenuation coefficients and estimates of penetration depths in materials.
        • Overview of X-ray absorption spectroscopy modalities (transmission vs fluorescence). Recall of principles of X-ray fluorescence spectroscopy.
        • Very short overview of chemical imaging modalities.

      • 14 November - 20 November

        Case-study 2: Focus on multi-modal techniques for the retrieval of lost painting by Van Gogh

        • Recall technique and their modalities: XRF and XAS, punctual vs imaging, penetration depth, fluorescence vs transmission detection
        • Sketching of experimental set-up and analysis of the motivation behind the use of each technique and modalities
        • Analysis of the entire analytical pathway and final result

      • 21 November - 27 November

        Case study 2 (going on).

        Presentation of assignment 2 on Prussian blue.

        • 28 November - 4 December

          Correction Assignment Prussian blue + Example of real Presentation on the topic (International conference on X-ray absorption spectroscopy, 2015, Karlsruhe).

        • 5 December - 11 December

          Introduction to X-ray Tomography.