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Friday, June 1 • 11:00am - 11:30am
(Photographic Materials) The Chemistry of Digital Fine Art Paper Yellowing: A Comparative Case Study of Moab Entrada Rag Natural 300gsm and Harman Inkjet Glossy Art Fibre Warmtone by Hahnemühle

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The yellowing of inkjet papers is a documented problem for cultural institutions and the conservation community. This study investigated two commercially available inkjet papers that had yellowed naturally under different conditions. A double-coated fine art paper Moab Entrada Natural 300gsm, developed a yellow stain within one year of printing, after unprotected exposure to light and atmospheric pollutants in a home environment. A roll of Harman Inkjet glossy fine art fibre warmtone paper by Hahnemühle yellowed when the packaging material, a polyethylene bag, was in contact with the paper during shipping. Scanning electron microscopy (SEM), X-Ray Photoelectron Spectroscopy (XPS), Fourier Transform Infrared Spectroscopy (FTIR), and UV-VIS reflection measurements were used to characterize the naturally yellowed papers. Attempts were also made to purposefully drive the yellowing reactions in fresh samples of these papers. Fresh paper samples were exposed separately to short wave UV light, long wave UV light, and NO₂ gas (to simulate atmospheric pollution). The SEM of the cross sectioned papers revealed complex microstructure in the coatings of the papers. Chemical analyses suggest that neither UV nor NO₂ exposure alone were the sole reason of the naturally yellowed paper. The pattern of chemical changes from XPS line scans of cross sections of the naturally yellowed paper suggested that the cause of the yellowing was diffusing into the paper making atmospheric pollutants a more likely cause. We suggest that the increased porosity of inkjet papers may have made them more susceptible to oxidizing gases in atmospheric pollution or outgassing from packaging materials as compared to more traditional paper formulations.

avatar for Monique C. Fischer-[Fellow]

Monique C. Fischer-[Fellow]

Senior Photograph Conservator, Northeast Document Conservation Center
Monique C. Fischer is the senior photograph conservator at the Northeast Document Conservation Center (NEDCC) in Andover, MA.  She holds a master’s degree in art conservation from the University of Delaware/Winterthur Museum, and a bachelor’s degree in chemistry from Smith College... Read More →


Savannah Butler

Student, Harvard University Department of Chemistry and Chemical Biology
avatar for Carew Giberson Chen

Carew Giberson Chen

Student, Harvard University Department of Chemistry and Chemical Biology
Student at Harvard University Department of Chemistry and Chemical Biology.
avatar for Arthur McClelland

Arthur McClelland

Principal Scientist, Harvard University
Arthur McClelland received his PhD in Applied Physics from the University of Michigan in 2009. He has been a technical staff scientist at Harvard University’s Center for Nanoscale Systems since 2011.
avatar for Nina Shevzov Zebrun

Nina Shevzov Zebrun

Student, Harvard University, Department of Chemistry and Chemical Biology

Vanya Zvonar

Student, Harvard University Department of Chemistry and Chemical Biology

Friday June 1, 2018 11:00am - 11:30am MDT
Hunters Creek Meeting Room Marriott Marquis Houston