State of Art in the SIMS (Secondary Ion Mass Spectrometry) Application to Archaeometry Studies



One of the main problems of cultural heritages in all the different forms (buildings, monuments, painting) is their deterioration caused by natural and artificial decay processes. To address the conservation issue specific studies are required to determine, for example, origin, date, materials composition, technology processes involved, etc. The use of microanalysis techniques, in particular secondary ion mass spectrometry (SIMS), in the cultural heritage area has been demonstrated extremely useful to approach and provide this kind of information and support the experts involved in studies within this area (art historians, archaeologists, curators etc.). In this work, an up to date overview of possible SIMS applications to archaeological topics is given, pointing out the peculiarity and the main limitations and drawbacks of this analytical approach. One example of SIMS application to archaeological glasses is reported. Moreover the wide technique flexibility and its strength in combination with other complementary techniques are remarked.