Characterisation of the rare cadmium chromate pigment in a 19th century tube colour by Raman, FTIR, X-ray and EPR

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  • Marie Bitsch Christiansen
  • Mikkel Agerbæk Sørensen
  • Jana Sanyova
  • Bendix, Jesper
  • Kim Pilkjær Simonsen
In an investigation of the artists' materials used by P. S. Krøyer the contents of the tube colours found in Krøyer's painting cabinet were examined. In most cases, the results of the pigment analyses were as expected based on our knowledge of artists' colours used in the late 1800s and early 1900s. However, in one of the tube colours labelled “Jaune de Cadmium Citron” (cadmium lemon yellow) an extremely rare cadmium chromate pigment was found. The pigment was analysed and characterised by Raman microscopy (MRS), scanning electron microscopy-energy dispersive X-ray spectroscopy (SEM-EDS), attenuated total reflectance-Fourier transform infrared spectroscopy (ATR-FTIR), powder X-ray diffraction (PXRD), single-crystal X-ray crystallography, and electron paramagnetic resonance (EPR) spectroscopy. Cadmium chromate was synthesised by precipitation from an aqueous solution of cadmium nitrate and potassium chromate, and the resulting yellow crystals proved identical to the pigment found in the tube colour “Jaune de Cadmium Citron”. The structure determined by single-crystal X-ray diffraction identified the pigment as 2CdCrO4·KOH·H2O or more accurately as KCd2(CrO4)2(H3O2) illustrating the μ-H3O2– species. The yellow colour of the paint sample taken from the tube had a greenish hue, which became even more prominent upon storage and drying. EPR analysis of the sample showed the presence of paramagnetic degradation products containing Cr(III) and Cr(V).
Original languageEnglish
JournalSpectrochimica Acta Part A: Molecular and Biomolecular Spectroscopy
Pages (from-to)208-214
Number of pages7
Publication statusPublished - 2017

    Research areas

  • Cadmium chromate, Tube colour, Pigment, Raman, FTIR, X-ray, EPR

ID: 176368271