Defect Related Emission in Calcium Hydroxide: The Controversial Band at 780 cm−1

Pisu, Francesca Assunta;Chiriu, Daniele
Ricci, Pier Carlo;Carbonaro, Carlo Maria


Calcium hydroxide, a crystal involved in the cycle of calcination and carbonation of calcium oxide, finds several applications from cultural heritage to the dentistry branch or to the construction industry. When excited at 1064 nm, Raman spectra of calcium hydroxide show a broad composite band peaked at about 780 cm−1, corresponding to 1170 nm. Since it is not observed with visible excitation, the origin of this band is debated, being assigned to some pre-existent luminescent impurities or some structural defect of the lime formed after the synthesis of the material. To shed light on the formation of this band, we synthetised the lime paste starting from pure calcite powders. The obtained fresh Ca(OH)2 samples did not show any band in the investigated range, irrespective of the laser excitation applied. A detailed analysis of the excitation and emission spectra in the near infrared region did not show the 1170 nm band, supporting the hypothesis of a post-synthesis origin. Thus, we carried out thermal treatments at different temperatures (90–500 °C) and under different environments (in air or under nitrogen flux) on synthesised fresh Ca(OH)2 powders. We also investigated the time evolution of the samples, monitoring the Raman spectra over 90 days after a specific treatment. The collected data support the hypothesis of a defect-related luminescence centre, whose formation depends on the temperature and environment of the treatment, which appears as a preferential site for the carbonation process of the calcium hydroxide. These results can be useful in the field of Cultural Heritage for dating purposes, and to determine the conservation state of Ca(OH)2 containing relics to prevent the possible activation of degradation processes.
Esperti anonimi
portlandite; calcium oxide/hydroxide; Raman
Pisu, Francesca Assunta; Chiriu, Daniele; Ricci, Pier Carlo; Carbonaro, Carlo Maria
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