catania interno

National Institute for Nuclear Physics

Catania Division



CHNET - Cultural Heritage Network

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INFN-CHNet (Cultural Heritage Network) is the network of the Italian National Institute for Nuclear Physics (INFN) devoted to Cultural Heritage. The mission of INFN-CHNet is to harmonise and enhance the expertise of the Institute in the field of Cultural Heritage, expertise distributed among many structures spread over the whole Italian territory.


PH3DRA (PHysics for Dating, Diagnostics, Dosimetry Research and Applications) laboratories of Catania section deal with analyses, both in laboratory and in situ, for the characterization and dating of archeo-materials. The group uses decades the more cutting-edge technologies , in order to address the needs of cultural heritage researchers, such as archaeologists, historians, art historians, restorers and conservators.



Technologies applied to cultural heritage can provide useful information for:
– giving indications to restorers about the correct procedures to be applied for restoration/conservation;
– characterising materials and manufacturing techniques;
– studying the provenance of the raw materials (in order to retrace ancient trade routes or to use original materials during restorations);
– giving indications about material authenticity;


In particular, researchers of the INFN- Catania have the skills and the instrumentation for absolute dating of terracotta and sediments respectively with TL (ThermoLuminescence) and OSL (Optically Stimulated Luminescence). They work also in the field of compositional characterization of a wide types of materials (paintings, gems, glasses, pottery…) by Raman spectroscopy and of optical behaviour by colorimetric and spectrophotometric investigation for the specification of the colour.

Available techniques:

Dating:  ThermoLuminescence

Optically Stimulated Luminescence

MOLab:  Raman Spectroscopy



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