Raman and X-ray fluorescence glaze characterisation of Maria Keil's decorative tile panels

Camila Mortari, Alexandre Nobre Pais, Lurdes Esteves, Alexandra Gago da Câmara, Maria Luísa Carvalho, Marta Manso

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2 Citations (Scopus)


A set of decorative contemporary tile panels, created by the Portuguese artist Maria Keil (1914–2012) for the Lisbon metro stations, was studied under a noninvasive analytical methodology. This methodology combines X-ray fluorescence spectrometry (μ-XRF) and Raman spectroscopy in microscopic (μ-Raman) mode for an elemental and structural composition characterisation of the glaze (glass matrix and network modifiers such as fluxes, opacifiers and colouring agents). μ-XRF quantitative evaluation of the glassy matrix shows that all glazes have a lead silicate glass base. Results obtained by the combined use of μ-XRF and μ-Raman show that a zirconium-based opacifier was used. Naples yellow (Pb2Sb2O7), lead–tin yellow type II (Pb(Sn,Si)O3), Pb–Sn–Sb triple oxide, cobalt blue (CoAl2O4), chromium oxide (Cr2O3) and malayite sphene (CaO·SnO2·SiO2) have been identified by μ-Raman as some of the colouring agents, either used by themselves or in mixtures for obtaining the desirable colours intended by the artist.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)59-70
Number of pages12
JournalJournal of Raman Spectroscopy
Issue number1
Publication statusPublished - Jan 2021


  • decorative tiles
  • glaze
  • material studies
  • μ-Raman
  • μ-XRF


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