Science.-Graphene also works to preserve artworks

Madrid 5 (European Press)

Among the many applications of graphene, it is worthwhile to add from now on the applications of protecting paints from environmental degradation.

Exposing colors used in artwork to ultraviolet (UV) and visible light in the presence of oxidizing agents causes color deterioration, fading, and yellowing.

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

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

Isolated in 2004 by Jaime and Novoselov of the University of Manchester (2010 Nobel Prize in Physics), graphene is a pure carbon material with arranged hexagonal atoms – with exceptional properties that have already been used in many applications and products. The graphene veil used in this work is a flexible and 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 the measurements made in the above-mentioned laboratories showed that this membrane is impervious to moisture, oxidizing agents and other harmful pollutants and can also absorb a large amount of harmful ultraviolet rays. Finally, unlike other protections, graphene coatings are shown to be relatively easy to remove without damaging the surface of artwork.

This research has been published in Nature Nanotechnology.

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