Applied Physics A volume 122:552 (2016)
A major objective of all conservation treatments is to increase the physical and chemical stability of the objects being treated. Given that photographic gelatin emulsions are highly susceptible to different forms of damage such as flaking, cracking, and powdering, consolidation treatments often form an important part of the stabilization process. The application of nanomaterials is a new approach in photograph conservation, which will hopefully enable the control of the properties of traditional consolidants, thus improving their performance. In this study, gelatin nanoparticles and nanolayers were prepared and characterized by scanning electron microscopy, transmission electron microscopy, and dynamic light scattering for testing on damaged gelatin emulsion. The nanolayers were prepared by a two-step desolvation method, in order to obtain gelatin nanoparticles, followed by a third step involving rapid solvent evaporation. The prepared particles were found to have a spherical shape with sizes varying from 33 to 216 nm and a mean size of 42 nm depending on the conditions of synthesis. This research showed that both pH and temperature are very effective on particle size. Further studies are being planned to evaluate the benefits and potential problems of in situ consolidation of damaged gelatin emulsion using gelatin nanolayer technique.