Double Nanoparticle Layer in a 12th Century Lustreware Decoration: Accident or Technological Mastery?
Metallic lustre decorations of glazed ceramics, which appeared in Mesopotamia during the 9th century AD, can be considered nowadays as an historical example of controlled nanotechnology for optical devices. Their surprising optical properties are directly due to metallic nanoparticles that Islamic potters were able to bury in the first layers of glaze through empirical chemical means. Lustre technology is fascinating and many papers have been devoted to this subject. Many lustre samples have been investigated with the most modern equipment such as the synchrotron radiation, electron microscopy, micro-Raman spectroscopy and other spectroscopic methods. This decor made in the twelfth century during the Fatimid dynasty shows a quasi-perfect double layer of nanoparticles confirming the high technological mastery of this civilization. Moreover, up to now, no lustre has been found with an organization of nanoparticles as elaborate as the decor presented here.
P. Sciau et al., "Double Nanoparticle Layer in a 12th Century Lustreware Decoration: Accident or Technological Mastery?", Journal of Nano Research, Vol. 8, pp. 133-139, 2009