Spectroscopic investigation of historical uranium glasses

CALAS, Georges, GALOISY, Laurence, HUNAULT, Myrtille, RAUTIYAL, Prince, SKERRAT-LOVE, Katrina, RIGBY, Jessica and BINGHAM, Paul (2022). Spectroscopic investigation of historical uranium glasses. Journal of Cultural Heritage.

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    We present spectroscopic investigations of uranium in two historical glasses. A 1920’s-1930’s Art Deco (Bagley Carnival) green soda-lime-silica uranium glass bowl and a 1930’s-1940’s (Thomas Webb) yellow full lead crystal uranium glass vase were studied using optical absorption spectroscopy, XRF and SEM-EDX, X-band EPR and Uranium speciation may be different in the two glasses. Uranium occurs as uranyl groups (UO22+) with minority reduced uranium species, mostly as U(V), more important in the Webb glass than in the Bagley glass. The differences between the two glasses arise from the fining procedure and result from the presence of other multivalent elements and differences in base glass composition. Electron Paramagnetic Resonance (EPR) spectra show the presence of an incipient signal close to g~2, partially annealed by heating to 550°C, which we assign to a small concentration of radiation-induced defects caused by uranium decay. The presence of multivalent glass components in addition to U (As + Cu + Fe in the Bagley glass and Sb + Fe in the Webb glass) can trap the electron–hole pairs generated by the presence of uranium. This may explain the weakness of this signal in these glasses that anyway received a limited radiation dose since their fabrication. The low activity of these glasses, close to the background radiation, confirms that there is no danger to exhibiting them in museums.

    Item Type: Article
    Uncontrolled Keywords: Archaeology; 2101 Archaeology; 2102 Curatorial and Related Studies; 2103 Historical Studies
    SWORD Depositor: Symplectic Elements
    Depositing User: Symplectic Elements
    Date Deposited: 16 Nov 2022 16:59
    Last Modified: 16 Nov 2022 16:59
    URI: https://shura.shu.ac.uk/id/eprint/31038

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