Micro-invasive method for studying lead isotopes in paintings*

P. D'Imporzano*, K. Keune, J. M. Koornneef, E. Hermens, P. Noble, K. van Zuilen, G. R. Davies

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to JournalArticleAcademicpeer-review


A micro-invasive technique is presented that enables pigment sampling from individual layers of a painting cross-section by obtaining a furrow 10–50 μm wide of chosen length. Combined with increased sensitivity of lead (Pb) isotope analysis using multicollector inductively coupled plasma mass spectrometry (MC-ICPMS) equipped with a 1013 Ω resistor or a Pb double-spike technique, the amount of Pb needed for isotopic analysis is drastically reduced, while maintaining a relative 2 SD precision for 206Pb/204Pb of < 0.02%. The methodology proved able to characterize Pb isotope differences within paint layers.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)796-809
Number of pages14
Issue number4
Early online date4 Mar 2020
Publication statusPublished - 1 Aug 2020


  • 10 Ω amplifier
  • lead isotopes
  • lead white pigment
  • micro-invasive sampling


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