This work explores the combination of µ-Raman spectroscopy and scanning electron microscopy with X-ray energy dispersive spectrometry (SEM-EDS) for the study of the glazes in 15th-16th century Hispano-Moresque architectural tiles. These are high lead glazes that can be tin-opacified or transparent, and present five colors: tin-white, cobalt-blue, copper-green, iron-amber, and manganese-brown. They are generally homogenous and mineral inclusions are mostly concentrated in the glaze-ceramic interface. Through SEM-EDS, these inclusions were observed and chemically analyzed, whereas µ-Raman allowed their identification on a molecular level. K-feldspars, wollastonite and diopside were the most common compounds, as well as cassiterite agglomerates that render the glaze opaque. Malayaite was identified in green glazes, and andradite and magnesioferrite in amber glazes. Co-Ni-ferrites were identified in blue glazes, as well as Ni-Fe-olivines. Manganese-brown is the color where most compounds were identified: bustamite, jacobsite, hausmannite, braunite, and kentrolite. Through the µ-Raman analysis of different areas in large inclusions previously observed by SEM, it was possible to identify intermediate phases that illustrate the reaction process that occurs between the color-conferring compounds and the surrounding lead glaze. Furthermore, the obtained results allowed inference of the raw materials and firing temperatures used on the manufacture of these tiles.
Keywords: µ-Raman; Hispano-Moresque; SEM-EDS; lead glaze; tile.
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