Home Madrid university Science.-Graphene also works to preserve works of art

Science.-Graphene also works to preserve works of art

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Madrid 5 (European Press)

Among the many applications of graphene, it is now appropriate to add the applications of protection of paints against environmental degradation.

Exposure of colors used in works of art to ultraviolet (UV) light and visible in the presence of oxidizing agents causes deterioration, discoloration and yellowing of colors.

These decomposition mechanisms can cause an irreversible change in the work of art. Protective varnishes and coatings currently used to protect fine art paints are not acceptable solutions, as their removal requires the use of solvents, which can damage the underlying work surface.

A team of researchers from the Institute of Chemical Engineering Sciences of the Hellas Research and Technology Foundation (FORTH / ICE-HT), the Department of Chemical Engineering of the University of Patras and the Colloid Science Center and of Surfaces (CSGI) of the University of Florence, led by Prof. Costas Galiotis, had an innovative idea to use a graphene veil as protection.

Isolated in 2004 by Jaime and Novoselov of the University of Manchester (2010 Nobel Prize in Physics), graphene is a pure carbonaceous material with hexagonal atoms arranged – with exceptional properties that have already been used in many applications and products. The graphene veil used in this work is a flexible, transparent film produced by chemical vapor deposition technology. It has a monoatomic thickness, and since there are no size restrictions on other dimensions (length and width), it can cover any large area required.

The results of measurements carried out in the aforementioned laboratories have shown that this membrane is impermeable to moisture, oxidizing agents and other harmful pollutants and can also absorb a large amount of harmful ultraviolet rays. Finally, unlike other protectors, graphene coatings are relatively easy to remove without damaging the surface of works of art.

This research was published in Nature Nanotechnology.


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