Paints based on cadmium sulfide (CdS) were popular among artists beginning in the mid-19th century. Some paint formulations are prone to degrade, discoloring and disfiguring paintings where they have been used. Pablo Picasso's Femme (époque des "Demoiselles d'Avignon") (1907) includes two commercial formulations of CdS: one is visibly degraded and now appears brownish yellow, while the other appears relatively intact and is vibrant yellow. This observation inspired the study reported here of the photoluminescence emission from trap states of the two CdS paints, complemented by data from multispectral imaging, X-ray fluorescence spectroscopy, micro-FTIR, and SEM-EDS. The two paints exhibit trap state emissions that differ in terms of spectrum, intensity, and decay kinetics. In the now-brownish yellow paint, trap state emission is highly favored with respect to near band edge optical recombination. This observation suggests a higher density of surface defects in the now-brownish yellow paint that promotes the surface reactivity of CdS particles and their subsequent paint degradation. CdS is a semiconductor, and surface defects in semiconductors can trap free charge carriers; this interaction becomes stronger at reduced particle size or, equivalently, with increased surface to volume ratio. Here, we speculate that the strong trap state emission in the now-brownish cadmium yellow paint is linked to the presence of CdS particles with a nanocrystalline phase, possibly resulting from a low degree of calcination during pigment synthesis. Taken together, the results presented here demonstrate how photoluminescence studies can probe surface defects in CdS paints and lead to an improved understanding of their complex degradation mechanisms.

Degradation of Cadmium Yellow Paint: New Evidence from Photoluminescence Studies of Trap States in Picasso's Femme (époque des "demoiselles d'Avignon")

Comelli D.;Ghirardello M.;Valentini G.;Nevin A.
2019

Abstract

Paints based on cadmium sulfide (CdS) were popular among artists beginning in the mid-19th century. Some paint formulations are prone to degrade, discoloring and disfiguring paintings where they have been used. Pablo Picasso's Femme (époque des "Demoiselles d'Avignon") (1907) includes two commercial formulations of CdS: one is visibly degraded and now appears brownish yellow, while the other appears relatively intact and is vibrant yellow. This observation inspired the study reported here of the photoluminescence emission from trap states of the two CdS paints, complemented by data from multispectral imaging, X-ray fluorescence spectroscopy, micro-FTIR, and SEM-EDS. The two paints exhibit trap state emissions that differ in terms of spectrum, intensity, and decay kinetics. In the now-brownish yellow paint, trap state emission is highly favored with respect to near band edge optical recombination. This observation suggests a higher density of surface defects in the now-brownish yellow paint that promotes the surface reactivity of CdS particles and their subsequent paint degradation. CdS is a semiconductor, and surface defects in semiconductors can trap free charge carriers; this interaction becomes stronger at reduced particle size or, equivalently, with increased surface to volume ratio. Here, we speculate that the strong trap state emission in the now-brownish cadmium yellow paint is linked to the presence of CdS particles with a nanocrystalline phase, possibly resulting from a low degree of calcination during pigment synthesis. Taken together, the results presented here demonstrate how photoluminescence studies can probe surface defects in CdS paints and lead to an improved understanding of their complex degradation mechanisms.
Cadmium yellow
Photoluminescence
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Utilizza questo identificativo per citare o creare un link a questo documento: https://hdl.handle.net/11311/1125011
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