Material Culture Laboratory

Our tasks:

To help with characterization of objects and artefacts, composed of various types of materials, such as textiles, leather, metals and alloys, glass and ceramics, wood and natural fibres, paper, pigments (paintings), etc., as for their chemical composition, morphology, and structure, which indicates on their origin, age, manufacturing methods, etc.

Our team:

  • prof. RNDr. Zdeněk TRÁVNÍČEK Ph.D.
  • doc. RNDr. Michal ČAJAN Ph.D.
  • doc. PharmDr. Ján VANČO Ph.D.


Raman microscope (Nicolet DXR2)

- used to identify the chemical composition of the solid or liquid samples, e.g. waxes, gels, pastes, filaments, pieces of wood and other natural samples, minerals, and metal pieces, etc.
- suitable for qualitative and quantitative analyses

Infrared spectrometer (Nicolet iS50)

- used to study the chemical composition of all kinds of samples (gas, liquid, solid), such as natural products, organic and inorganic pigments, or minerals
- suitable for qualitative and quantitative analyses in both far- and mid-infrared regions

X-ray fluorescence spectrometer (Olympus VANTA Education)

- a mobile handheld device used for the non-destructive analyses of solid samples, including metals, alloys, coins, natural samples, and minerals
- suitable for qualitative and quantitative analyses
- the metrologically validated results are available within a few minutes

Scanning electron microscopy (Tescan VEGA) with energy-dispersive X-ray spectrometer (EDX)

- an electron microscopy technique used to describe the surface morphology and composition of analysed samples, both in a native state and stained or impregnated ones
- used mostly for the analyses of glass, metal alloys, ceramics, wood, textile fibres, paper, minerals, coins, etc.
- the system can work at both high and low vacuum conditions and use a set of different detectors (SE, BSE, LVSTD, EDX)
- the system can be used for qualitative and quantitative analyses
- the energy-dispersive X-ray spectrometer can be utilized not only for determination of the contents of various elements in the sample, but also to visualize their content in the samples (element mapping) using the confocal microscopy

3D scanner for architecture (Leica RTC360-Lite 3D Laser scanner)

- mobile scanner using the near-infrared laser (1550 nm), not damaging for human eye
- scanner able to automatically capture the 360° horizontally and 300° vertically at the rate of 1 million points per second
- able to scan objects at distances from 0.5 m to 130 m with high precision
- the scan is overlapped with 432 MPix spherical picture captured by HDR camera
- able to scan bigger artefacts, together with their surroundings, thus spotting the details which cannot be captured by optical cameras