Journal of the European Optical Society - Rapid publications, Vol 4 (2009)

Analysis of calcium carbonate for differentiating between pigments using terahertz spectroscopy

M. Mizuno, K. Fukunaga, S. Saito, I. Hosako


Calcium carbonate that is used as an art pigment exhibits strong absorption at approximately 3 THz. In this study, the authors investigated the relationship between the absorption and the condition of calcium carbonate crystals. By employing terahertz time-domain spectroscopy (0.5–4 THz), they verified that terahertz absorption energy depended on the crystal direction and crystal shape of the powder sample due to large birefringence. Further, the authors observed the difference in the crystal structure (calcite or aragonite) and the presence of impurities in natural calcium carbonate such as shells through terahertz absorbance spectra. The absorbance peak value of calcite at around 3 THz was four times as large as the peak value of aragonite. The absorbance spectral width increased because of the presence of these impurities. From the above observation, this study demonstrated that a certain kind of calcium carbonate crystal could be distinguished by terahertz spectroscopy.

© The Authors. All rights reserved. [DOI: 10.2971/jeos.2009.09044]

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