The AGLAE laboratory is inside the Research Department of the Centre de Recherche et de Restauration des Mus饳 de France (C2RMF), located in the basement of the Louvre Museum in Paris. The Department is a common research unit of the French Ministry of Culture and CNRS.


A PIXE measurement in AGLAE on the Saqquarah Scriba

AGLAE is a laboratory for ion beam analysis open to transnational access for 46 days per year.

Typical users for access to AGLAE are scientists who usually carry out research on constituent materials of movable artworks, devoted to the study of the manufacturing techniques for a contribution to art-historical studies, or devoted to the characterisation of the artwork conservation state or to establish the effectiveness of a conservation treatment.

The ion beam analysis (IBA) experiments which are routinely performed by AGLAE are:

PIXE-PIGE – various energies, various currents, various beam spot diameters from 20?m to 500?m


-PIXE elemental mappings.

For expert users, more sophisticated and critical experiments can be also performed after agreement with the AGLAE team.

The duration of each type of measurement is variable:

– for a common PIXE-PIGE experiment between 5 and 30 minutes are necessary, depending of the nature of the material and the sensitivity required;

– for RBS or NRA, the average duration is 15 minutes;

– for an elemental micromapping, a typical acquisition time is between 2 and 4 hours.

The access to the AGLAE equipment is given for a minimum duration of 2 days in order to secure the results. Thus depending on the artefact, one can change the ion species and/or the energy, and also optimise the detection set-up. The access to AGLAE is given for periods from 2 days and not exceeding 5 days. For 2 days of experiment, a reasonable stay in the laboratory is 4 days.

AGLAE is serviced by a team specialised in conducting tandem accelerators. The team is headed by a scientist for operating ion beams, optimising beam currents and tuning energy. The scientist is associated with two technicians, one for the electronics development and maintenance, the other for engineering design and mechanics.

The data interpretation is done by users inside the laboratory with the assistance of the scientist of the CNRS-C2RMF. The results may be completed with other techniques (SEM, XRD, XRF, ICP-AES, FTIR, ?Raman…).

A desk is available for the research guests near the AGLAE control room. They have access to several computers connected to internet, which can be used for processing the IBA spectra and preparing preliminary reports.

The users have also, inside the laboratory, free access to the library specialised in the science applied to conservation and research in art and archaeology, and also art history, museums and temporary exhibitions catalogues, authors monographs… (more than 5.500 books).

The laboratory helps the guest in order to find a comfortable but not expensive accommodation, thanks to the EGIDE association. Agreements with hotels close to the laboratory are currently applied for visitors and are also used for the access activity. The university residence inside the Paris Cit頉nternationale Universitaire for the younger scientists, especially post docs or PhD students, is also available.

Access to the staff restaurant inside the Louvre museum is given.

A safety regulation exists with respect to both the personnel and the artworks, which must be followed by the guests. The entrance of the laboratory is strictly controlled and there is a safe room to store artworks.