Role of water on formation and structural features of Maya blue



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Mondelli, C. and Sánchez del Río, Manuel and González González, Miguel Ángel and Magazzú, Alessandro and Cavallari, Chiara and Súarez Barrios, Mercedes and García Romero, Emilia and Romano, P. (2012) Role of water on formation and structural features of Maya blue. Journal of Physics: Conference Series, 340 . pp. 1-6. ISSN 1742-6588

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The Maya blue (MB) is an artificial pigment created between 500-800 A.D. and
used in murals, pottery and sculptures by Mayas and other people in Mesoamerica. MB is
resistant to age, acid, weathering, biodegradation and even modern chemical solvents, but the
chemical reasons behind the resistance to chemical aggressions are still under debate. Water
plays a fundamental role in the interactions between indigo and clay. The dynamics of the
clay’s zeolitic and structural water molecules during the formation of MB, usually stabilized by
moderate heating, has been monitored by means of neutron inelastic scattering. Neutron
incoherent scattering in these samples is only due to the hydrogen atoms, so the signal is very
sensitive to the amount of released water, providing detailed information on the dehydration
process. A simultaneous analysis of the coherent elastic scattering and the incoherent scattering
allows observing and quantifying how the structure of the clay is affected by dehydration. Here
we show that a quite resistant pigment can be obtained at room temperature simply by
dehydrating a palygorskite-indigo mixture employing only vacuum, without any thermal

Item Type:Article
Uncontrolled Keywords:Clay’s zeolitic; Maya blue pigment;
Subjects:Sciences > Geology > Mineralogy
ID Code:21658
Deposited On:04 Jun 2013 09:57
Last Modified:11 Dec 2018 08:46

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