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Analysis of East Asian Soot-based Inksticks through Raman Spectroscopy

presented at the Spring Technical Meeting Eastern States Section of the Combustion Institute, March 4-7, 2018 State College, Pennsylvania

Abstract: Carbon-based black pigments have been used extensively in art and cultural heritage objects.  In East Asia particularly, soot has been the primary black pigment in the form of Chinese ink and inksticks.  Valuable information about soot’s chemical morphology can be obtained by Raman spectroscopy.  Analysis of the D and G bands in Raman spectra of carbonaceous materials has long been used to identify the amount of disorder, but a more detailed application of Raman has yet to be applied to artists’ pigments.  In this study, a number of East Asian inksticks and their component soots (soot from pine wood or vegetable oils and, more recently, industrial carbon black) were examined.  The D and G peaks of the Raman spectra were fit with both two-band and five-band peak fitting routines.  The fitting results were used in principal component analysis (PCA) to differentiate between different Chinese ink sources.


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