Raman Spectroscopy Lab

The Raman Spectroscopy Lab is focused on the development of advanced non-invasive Raman methods and their application to Cultural Heritage materials. The research is aimed at optimizing conventional methods, mainly non-invasive, to address the challenges arisen in-situ, as in museum collections or conservation sites. The Raman Spectroscopy Lab, in collaboration with Central Laser Facility of the Rutherford Appleton Laboratory (RAL-STFC, UK), developed a new Raman method, micro-Spatially Offset Raman Spectroscopy (micro-SORS), for the non-invasive study of the subsurface of stratified materials, as painted layer sequences; the method has been recently recognized by the Coblentz Society, which supports the knowledge and the application of vibrational spectroscopy, that selected Dr. Claudia Conti, senior researcher of ISPC Milan Unit, as the 2020 recipient of the “Craver award” for her effort to the development of vibrational spectroscopy.

Besides micro-SORS instrument, the Raman Spectroscopy Lab is equipped with conventional Raman instruments, both benchtop (Senterra, Bruker, dispersive micro-Raman spectrometer) for the non-destructive analyses of samples, and portable (Xantus-2™, Rigaku spectrometer) for the non-invasive in-situ diagnostic campaigns. Due to its high degree of chemical selectivity and high lateral resolution (a few µm with benchtop micro-Raman instruments and a few tens of µm with portable instruments), Raman spectroscopy is essential for the characterization of artist’s technique, conservation state of the artwork and its conservation history.

The Raman Spectroscopy Lab is strongly connected with the CNR ISPC laboratories network for the development of advanced multi-analytical protocols. The Raman Spectroscopy Lab expertise and instruments are included into the MOLAB platform of the European Research Infrastructure of Heritage Science (ERIHS).

Raman Spectroscopy Lab Staff



Research Associates

Pavel Matousek, Rutherford Appleton Laboratory STFC, UK.

How to contact us


Projects and Research activities

  • Non-invasive micro-scale depth resolved imaging and sensing of materials in cultural heritage. International Exchanges 2020 Cost Share, project funded by the Royal Society (UK), (IEC\R2\202126) in collaboration with the School of Science and Technology of Nottingham Trent University.
  • Development of a portable micro-SORS device for in-situ probing of cultural heritage subsurface. Project in collaboration with the Department of Chemistry, University of Cincinnati (US) and thel Central Laser Facility of the Rutherford Appleton Laboratory (UK).
  • Sub-Surface Molecular Analysis and Imaging in Turbid Media Using Time-Gated Raman Spectral Multiplexing combined with micro-SORS. Project in collaboration with School of Physics and Astronomy, University of Nottingham (UK).
  • Micro-layered diffusive materials: non destructive investigation of subsurface by advanced spectroscopic methods. Project in collaboration with the Chimica, Materiali e Ingegneria Chimica “Giulio Natta”Department of the Politecnico di Milano.
  • Investigation of materials and techniques of The Peruzzi Altarpiece, Giotto di Bondone. Project in collaboration with the North Carolina Museum of Art (US).
  • Caratterizzazione materica di opere “Achromes” di Piero Manzoni. Project in collaboration with Manzoni Foundation, Milano.
  • Studio di polveri presenti sulla superficie del Cenacolo di Leonardo da Vinci. Project in collaboration with the Cenacolo Vinciano Museum, Milano.
  • Indagine non invasiva in-situ tramite micro-SORS portatile della stratigrafia pittorica del dipinto S. Francesco e Bona Bevilacqua Trivulzio (o Antonia Pallavicini) e S. Antonio da Padova e Giulia Trivulzio (or Lucia Bevilacqua) di Marco D’Oggiono. Project in collaboration with the Pinacoteca di Brera (Milano) and the scientific laboratories of Fondazione Centro Conservazione e Restauro dei Beni Culturali La Venaria Reale di Torino.
  • Studio non invasivo della superficie policroma dell’Autoritratto di Francesco Hayez. Project in collaboration with the Pinacoteca di Brera di Milano.
  • Studio dei materiali presenti nel Corredo funebre della Tomba di Kha e Merit. Project in collaboration with Museo Egizio di Torino.

For further information on ISPC research activities click the button.

CNR ISPC Projects

Main collaborations


  • Ghent University (BE), Department of Archaeology
  • Nottingham University (UK), School of Physics and Astronomy
  • Politecnico di Milano, Dipartimento di Chimica, Materiali e Ingegneria Chimica “Giulio Natta”
  • Politecnico di Milano, Dipartimento di Energia
  • Università di Bologna, Dipartimento di Chimica “Giacomo Ciamician”
  • University of Cincinnati (US), Department of Chemistry
  • Università di Parma, Dipartimento di Fisica e Scienze della Terra

no-profit Foundations

  • Fondazione Centro Conservazione e Restauro dei Beni Culturali La Venaria Reale, Torino

Research Institutions

  • Rutherford Appleton Laboratory (RAL-STFC), Central Laser Facility (UK)
  • Ulsan National Institute of Science and Technology (UNIST), Department of Chemistry, Republic of Korea


  • Museo Egizio di Torino
  • Museo del Cenacolo Vinciano
  • Musei del Castello Sforzesco di Milano

Main publications

D. Bersani, C. Conti, P. Matousek, F. Pozzi, P. Vandenabeele, Methodological Evolutions of Raman Spectroscopy in Art and Archaeology, “Analytical Methods”, 8, 48, 2016, 8395-8409.

A. Botteon, C. Colombo, M. Realini, C. Castiglioni, A. Piccirillo, P. Matousek, C. Conti, Non‐invasive and in situ investigation of layers sequence in panel paintings by portable micro‐spatially offset Raman spectroscopy, “Journal of Raman Spectroscopy”, 51, 10, 2020, 2016-2021. 

A. Botteon, J. Yiming, S. Prati, G. Sciutto, M. Realini, C. Colombo, C. Castiglioni, P. Matousek, C. Conti, Non-invasive characterisation of molecular diffusion of agent into turbid matrix using micro-SORS, “Talanta”, 218, 2020, 121078.

C. Conti, A. Botteon, M. Bertasa, C. Colombo, M. Realini, D. Sali, Portable Sequentially Shifted Excitation Raman spectroscopy as an innovative tool for in situ chemical interrogation of painted surfaces, “Analyst”, 141, 2016, 4599-4607.

C. Conti, A. Botteon, C. Colombo, D. Pinna, M. Realini, P. Matousek, Advances in Raman spectroscopy for the non-destructive subsurface analysis of artworks: Micro-SORS, “Journal of Cultural Heritage”, 43, 2020, 319-328.

C. Conti, C. Colombo, D. Dellasega, M. Matteini, M. Realini, G. Zerbi, Ammonium oxalate treatment: evaluation by µ-Raman mapping of the penetration depth in different plasters, “Journal of Cultural Heritage”, 12, 4, 2011, 372-379. 

C. Conti, C. Colombo, M. Realini, P. Matousek, Subsurface analysis of painted sculptures and plasters using micrometre-scale spatially offset Raman spectroscopy (Micro-SORS), “Journal of Raman Spectroscopy”, 46, 5, 2015, 476-482.

C. Conti, C. Colombo, M. Realini, G. Zerbi, P. Matousek, Subsurface Raman Analysis of Thin Painted Layers, “Applied Spectroscopy”, 68, 6, 2014, 686-691.

C. Conti, M. Realini, C. Colombo, K. Sowoidnich, N.K. Afseth, M. Bertasa, A. Botteon, P. Matousek, Noninvasive Analysis of Thin Turbid Layers Using Microscale Spatially Offset Raman Spectroscopy, “Analytical Chemistry”, 87, 11, 2015, 5810-5815. 

C. Corden, P. Matousek, C. Conti, I. Notingher, Sub-Surface Molecular Analysis and Imaging in Turbid Media Using Time-Gated Raman Spectral Multiplexing, “Applied Spectroscopy”, 75, 2, 2021, 156-167.