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Title: New insights into the deterioration of TiO2 based oil paints: the effects of illumination conditions and surface interactions

Titanium dioxide (TiO2) has been used in numerous paintings since its creation in the early 1920s. However, due to this relatively recent adoption by the art world, we have limited knowledge about the nature and risk of degradation in museum environments. This study expands on the existing understanding of TiO2facilitated degradation of linseed oil, by examining the effect of visible light and crystallographic phase (either anatase or rutile) on the reactivity of TiO2. The present approach is based on a combination of experimental chemical characterization with computational calculation through Density Functional Theory (DFT) modeling of the TiO2-oil system. Attenuated Total Reflection Fourier Transform Infrared Spectroscopy (ATR-FT-IR) enabled the identification of characteristic degradation products during UV and visible light aging of both rutile and anatase based paints in comparison to BaSO4and linseed oil controls. In addition, cratering and cracking of the paint surface in TiO2based paints, aged under visible and UV–vis illumination, were observed through Scanning Electron Microscopy (SEM). Finally, Density Functional Theory (DFT) modeling of interactions between anatase TiO2and oleic acid, a fatty acid component of linseed oil, to form a charge transfer complex explains one possible mechanism for the visible light activity observed in artificial aging. Visible light more » excitation of this complex sensitizes TiO2by injecting an electron into the conduction band of TiO2to generate reactive oxygen species and subsequent degradation of the oil binder by various mechanisms (e.g., formation of an oleic acid cation radical and other oxidation products).

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Publication Date:
Journal Name:
Heritage Science
Springer Science + Business Media
Sponsoring Org:
National Science Foundation
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