Journal of the European Optical Society - Rapid publications, Vol 3 (2008)

Real-time terahertz imaging for art conservation science

K. Fukunaga, N. Sekine, I. Hosako, N. Oda, H. Yoneyama, T. Sudou


A new real-time terahertz imaging system has been developed by using a quantum cascade laser source and a microbolometer focal plane detector array. The application to non-invasive analyses of cultural heritage is demonstrated with an oil paint specimen. The experimental results suggested that the terahertz imaging system can identify materials based on a spectral database with a spatial resolution of about 300 μm. The transmission imaging indicated the difference between natural and artificial ultramarine pigments. Since the size of the system is similar to a common portable infrared camera, it can be used at the place where the object is located, such as museums, and can contribute to conservation activities, such as drying process monitoring. This real-time, small, non-invasive terahertz imaging system can be used in various fundamental research fields and practical industries.

© The Authors. All rights reserved. [DOI: 10.2971/jeos.2008.08027]

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