Synchrotrons provide more and more significant analytical techniques to investigate ancient materials from cultural heritages. New ways to visualize the complex structure of these materials are developed on the basis of elemental, density, and refraction contrasts. The tunability of synchrotron beams owing to the high flux and high spectral resolution of photon sources is at the origin of the main chemical speciation capabilities of synchrotron-based techniques. Among them the full-field X-ray absorption near-edge structure (XANES) imaging technique using hard X-rays is particularly efficient. It allows investigating a significant volume of material with a very good spatial resolution, which is invaluable for ancient material because of their heterogeneity and complexity. After presenting the technique and its variants, we will show its ability to study cultural heritage materials through a few examples.
Part of the book: Synchrotron Radiation