Analysis of glazing chemicals, paints and a vermilion ink in arts and crafts

Arts and crafts use various coloring materials and dyes. X-ray diffraction can be used to obtain information concerning the crystallinities and the compounds present in the dyes. From the analysis of those dyes, it is possible to obtain information about how a picture was created, identify similar or related arts and crafts, and determine whether a particular item is real or a forgery.

Measurement of a small region ( ≤ 1 mm diameter ), Part II

For a highly sensitive analysis of a small (≤ 1 mm diameter) section of a dye material, Rigaku's Ultima IV multipurpose diffraction system was equipped with Cross Beam Optics (CBO), a 2 kW sealed tube X-ray source and a high-speed one dimensional detector.

measurement results
Figure 1: Difference among the X-ray diffraction patterns of the glazing chemicals in the picture painted on an earthen dish

Figure 1 shows the measurement results of the partial coloring in 0.5 to 1 mm diameter regions of the red, green and background portions of an earthen dish. This figure reveals that the glazing chemicals of the red and green portions are different.

measurement results of new vermilion-to-red stone paint

Figure 2: Difference of the X-ray diffraction patterns of vermilion to red dyes

Figure 2 compares the measurement results of new vermilion-to-red stone paints, a vermilion water paint and a high quality vermilion ink. Even measuring a region less than 1 mm in diameter, one can clearly discriminate the difference of these coloring materials.


The Ultima IV represents the state-of-the-art in multipurpose X-ray diffraction (XRD) systems. Incorporating Rigaku's patented cross beam optics (CBO) technology for permanently mounted, permanently aligned and user-selectable parallel and focusing geometries, the Ultima IV X-ray diffractometer can perform many different measurements...fast. Read more...

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