NEW INFRASTRUCTURE – EQUIPMENT PROCURED IN THE FRAMEWORK OF THE GINOP PROJECT
With the new analytical-imaging devices purchased in the framework of the GINOP programme, a world-class, complex instrument park is created which enables more complex examinations in a wide range of scales
The first step in the investigation of cultural heritage objects is optical imaging. For this purpose, a digital 3D microscope is purchased which yields quantitative information about the structures of the object not only on horizontal but also on vertical scale. This is useful, for example, for the determination of the depth of carvings or height of reliefs.
The currently used accelerator based techniques for elemental analysis in MTA Atomki is to be complemented with a micro-XRF device (XRF: X-ray Fluorescence); depending on the sample and the elements to be determined, either one or the other is optimal.
In the case of cultural heritage objects, the non-destructivity of the analytical technique is often crucial. Because of this, traditional electron microscopy, although it can give information even on nanoscale, is often not applicable.
Therefore, the scanning electron microscope (SEM) to be purchased will operate with variable pressure, so it will be suitable for the investigation of vacuum-sensitive or insulator samples, too.
The instrumentation will also be fitted with a built-in Raman microscope, so it will function also as an integrated SEM-Raman microscope.
The analytical capabilities of the accelerator mass spectrometer (AMS) facility is augmented to meet the special requirements of archaeological finds which are currently excluded from the investigations
An automated graphitisation system will enable the sample preparation in a fast, clean, highly reproducible way in the case of organic archaeological finds. Collagen burns out of the bones during cremation, so the ashes cannot be measured with traditional AMS method. For this type of samples, the inorganic bioapatite must be used for C-14 dating. For this purpose, a carbonate handling system is purchased. In the case of bone samples, which are of extreme importance in archaeology, stable isotope measurements are also needed for the accurate results. The corresponding special sample preparation system has already been introduced to the laboratory.