Visualising cyclododecane on porous materials using cryogenic scanning electron microscopy
VonStein Murray, Courtney
University of Cambridge Museums
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VonStein Murray, C., Stein, R., & Taylor, J. (2018). Visualising cyclododecane on porous materials using cryogenic scanning electron microscopy. https://doi.org/10.17863/CAM.34062
This paper is published in the book ‘Subliming Surfaces: Volatile Binding Media in Heritage Conservation’, ed. Christina Rozeik (University of Cambridge Museums, 2018), pp. 65-66.
Since its introduction in the mid-1990s, cyclododecane (CDD) has found increasing use in the field of conservation. However, the physical effects of deposition and sublimation remain somewhat unexplained. This study used cryogenic scanning electron microscopy (cryo-SEM) to explore the physical interaction of cyclododecane with porous substrates commonly encountered among cultural materials: paper, wood and clay. It aimed to visualise whether the consolidant lined or filled pores, as well as whether it formed a uniform coating or an open network within pores. Comparing images of untreated and treated clay, wood, and paper samples reveals that the CDD forms a fairly uniform coating that closely mimics the topography of the substrate. Cracking and delamination of the coating was sometimes observed and may be related to the plunge-freezing process. Cryo-SEM proved limited in its ability to peer into the pores of the treated substrates because the cryogenic stage does not offer enough rotation samples themselves were too small to be easily manipulated and/or cross-sectioned, particularly while maintaining frozen conditions. Because only the topmost sample surfaces were observed, it was not possible to assess the depth of consolidant penetration or the force exerted by the consolidant upon the substrate. This study permitted an assessment of the physical interaction between CDD and the surfaces of treated substrates, revealing a close correspondence and suggesting thorough coverage of porous materials when the consolidant is applied as a saturated solvent solution.
This record's DOI: https://doi.org/10.17863/CAM.34062
This record's URL: https://www.repository.cam.ac.uk/handle/1810/286755