We have proposed and experimentally demonstrated that picosecond time-resolved optical spectroscopy in the visible/near-infrared (NIR) region (700–1040 nm) is a useful technique for noninvasive characterization of wood. This technique has been demonstrated on both softwood and hardwood samples treated in different ways simulating the aging process suffered by waterlogged woods. In all the cases, alterations of absorption and scattering spectra were observed, revealing changes of chemical and structural composition.

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