Investigating the photocatalytic degradation of oil paint using ATR-IR and AFM-IR

Suzanne Morsch, Birgit A. Van Driel, Klaas Jan van den Berg, Joris Dik

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleScientificpeer-review

30 Citations (Scopus)
113 Downloads (Pure)


As linseed oil has a longstanding and continuing history of use as a binder in artistic paints, developing an understanding of its degradation mechanism is critical to conservation efforts. At present, little can be done to detect the early stages of oil paint deterioration due to the complex chemical composition of degrading paints. In this work, we use advanced infrared analysis techniques to investigate the UV-induced deterioration of model linseed oil paints in detail. Subdiffraction limit infrared analysis (AFM-IR) is applied to identify and map accelerated degradation in the presence of two different grades of titanium white pigment particles (rutile or anatase TiO2). Differentiation between the degradation of these two formulations demonstrates the sensitivity of this approach. The identification of characteristic peaks and transient species residing at the paint surface allows infrared absorbance peaks related to degradation deeper in the film to be extricated from conventional ATR-FTIR spectra, potentially opening up a new approach to degradation monitoring.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)10169-10179
JournalACS Applied Materials and Interfaces
Issue number11
Publication statusPublished - 2017

Bibliographical note

Accepted Author Manuscript


  • AFM-IR
  • FTIR
  • linseed oil
  • photocatalytic degradation
  • titanium white


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