Dr Tracey Chaplin

Dr Tracey Chaplin is an Independent Scientific Consult specialising in analysis and identification of artists’ materials and their degradation products on objects such as paintings, sculpture, furniture, manuscripts, wallpaper, textiles and architectural elements. This includes the application of polarizing light microscopy, cross-sectional analysis, Raman and infrared spectroscopies, scanning electron microscopy (SEM), energy dispersive X-ray (EDX) analysis, X-ray fluorescence and gas chromatography mass spectrometry (GC-MS).

Tracey lectures in conservation science at undergraduate and postgraduate level. Course contents include basic and advanced polarizing light microscopy, polymer chemistry (plastics, adhesives, consolidants and coatings), solvent theory & practice, cross-sectional analysis, environmental monitoring & control, the chemistry of colour and analytical methods in chemistry and physics.

Between 1998 and 2001, Tracey was Post-Doctoral Research Assistant in the Department of Earth Sciences and between 2001 and 2003 in the Department of Chemistry at University College London.


  • 1994–1998 Dept. of Earth Sciences, University College London
    Ph.D. in Geology
    – The thesis (entitled “The Lattice Dynamics of Garnets”) details the analysis of the microscopic vibrational processes in garnets, using Raman spectroscopy, inelastic neutron scattering and computer simulations.
  • 1991–1994 Dept. of Earth Sciences, University College London
    B.Sc. (Hons) in Geology – 1st Class
    – Focused on mineralogy, crystallography and hard rock courses


  • 2004 Bronze medal winner of the 7th International L’Oréal Art and Science of Color Prize (awarded to “people who have made distinguished contributions to the creative meeting of science and art through color”) for The Pigment Compendium


  • Eastaugh, N.; Walsh, V.; Chaplin, T.D.; Siddall, R. (2004) The Pigment Compendium – Optical Microscopy of Historical Pigments. Elsevier Science, 416pp ISBN 0-7506-4553-9
  • Eastaugh, N.; Walsh, V.; Chaplin, T.D.; Siddall, R. (2004) The Pigment Compendium – A Dictionary of Historical Pigments. Elsevier Science, 499pp ISBN 0-7506-5749-9
    Journal articles –
  • Chaplin, T.D.; Clark, R.J.H.; Martinón-Torres, M. (2010) “A combined Raman microscopy, XRF and SEM–EDX study of three valuable objects – A large painted leather screen and two illuminated title pages in 17th century books of ordinances of the Worshipful Company of Barbers, London” Journal of Molecular Structure 976, 350-359
  • Chaplin, T.D.; Clark, R.J.H.; Scott, D.A. (2006) “Study of nine variants of the green-blue pigment verdigris” Journal of Raman Spectroscopy 1469, 223-229|
  • Chaplin, T.D.; Clark, R.J.H.; Pugh, S.; MacKay, A. (2006) “Raman spectroscopic analysis of selected astronomical and cartographic folios from the early 13th century Islamic ‘Book of Curiosities of the Sciences and Marvels for the Eyes’ Journal of Raman Spectroscopy 37, 865-877
  • Chaplin, T.D. & Clark, R.J.H. (2006) “Raman microscopy techniques for the characterisation of pigments” Infocus – Proceedings of the Royal Microscopical Society 3, 86-98
  • Chaplin, T.D.; Clark, R. J. H.; Jacobs, D.; Jensen, K.; Smith, G. D. (2005) “The Gutenberg Bibles: Analysis of the Illuminations and Inks Using Raman Spectroscopy” Analytical Chemistry 77, 3611-3622
    – as highlighted in New Scientist 186 (2005) 21 (“Bibles dazzle with colour on the cheap”) and Nature 435 (2005) 577 (“Analytical Chemistry: The Renaissance palette”)
  • Chaplin, T.D.; Jorado-López, A.; Clark, R.J.H.; Beech, D.R. (2004) “Identification by Raman microscopy of pigments on early postage stamps: Distinction between original 1847 and 1858-1862, forged and reproduction stamps of Mauritius” Journal of Raman Spectroscopy 35, 600-604
  • Ross, N.L.; Zhao, J.; Burt, J.B.; Chaplin, T.D. (2004) “Equations of state of GdFeO3 and GdAlO3 perovskites” Journal of Physics-Condensed Matter 16 (32), 5721-573
  • Eastaugh, N.; Walsh, V.; Siddall, R.; Chaplin, T.D.; Herman, H. (2003) “Development of protocols for a large analytical database project of historic pigments” Proceedings, Institute for Conservation Science, Edinburgh Conference 2002. Archetype Publications, 270-278
  • Walsh, V.; Siddall, R.; Eastaugh, N.; Chaplin, T.D. (2003) “Pigmenti di Pompei: verso la definizione di uno standard di riferimento per la ricerca sui pigmenti romani” Giornata di Studio e Aggiornamento sulle Applicazioni delle Scienze chimiche e fisiche all’Archeologia Vesuviana Atti dell’incontro del 19/novembre 2003
  • Soignard, E.; McMillan, P.F.; Chaplin, T.D.; Farag, S.M.; Bull, C.L.; Somayazulu, M.S.; Leinenweber, K. (2003) “High-pressure synthesis and study of low-compressibility molybdenum nitride (MoN and MoN1-x) phases” Physical Review B 68, 132101
  • Ross, N.L. & Chaplin, T.D. (2003) Compressibility of CaZrO3 perovskite: comparison with Ca-oxide perovskites” Journal of Solid State Chemistry 172, 123-126
  • Ross, N.L.; Chaplin, T.D.; Welch, M.D. (2002) “Compressibility of stottite, FeGe(OH)6: An octahedral framework with protonated O atoms” American Mineralogist 87, 1410-1414
  • Ross, N.L.; Angel, R.J.; Kung, J.; Chaplin, T.D. (2002) “Elastic properties of calcium oxide perovskites” Materials Research Society Symposium Proceedings 718, 115-119
  • Chaplin, T.D.; Clark, R.J.H.; Beech, D.R. (2002) “Comparison of genuine (1851-1852AD) and forged or reproduction Hawaiian Missionary stamps using Raman microscopy” Journal of Raman Spectroscopy 33, 424-428
  • Chaplin, T.D.; Clark, R.J.H.; Jacobs, D.; Jensen, K.; Smith, G.D. (2002) “Analysis of three Gutenberg Bibles using Raman microscopy” In Raman Spectroscopy, Wiley, Chichester, 823-824.
  • Barone, G.; Chaplin, T.; Hibbert, T.G.; Kana, A.T.; Mahon, M.F.; Molloy, K.C.; Worsley, I.D.; Parkin, I.P.; Price, L.S. (2002) “Synthesis and thermal decomposition studies of homo- and heteroleptic tin(IV) thiolates and dithiocarbamates: molecular precursors for tin sulfides” Journal of the Chemical Society – Dalton Transactions 6, 1085-1092
  • Chaplin, T.D.; Ross, N.L.; Reynard, B. (2000) “A high-temperature and high-pressure Raman spectroscopic study of CaGeO3 garnet” Physics and Chemistry of Minerals 27, 213-219
  • Chaplin, T.D.; Price, G.D.; Ross, N.L. (1998) “Computer simulations of the infrared and Raman activity of pyrope garnet, and assignment of calculated modes to specific atomic motions” American Mineralogist 83, 841-847
  • Wood, I.G.; Chaplin, T.D.; David, W.I.F.; Hull, S.; Price, G.D.; Street, JN. (1995) “Compressibility of FeSi between 0 and 9 GPa, determined by high-pressure time-of-flight neturon powder diffraction” Journal of Physics – Condensed Matter 7, L475-479

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