Chlorofluorocarbon-free laser cleaning techniques, compatible with cluster tool processing, have been developed for application to microelectronics processing, A KrF excimer laser is directed toward the wafer to be cleaned and rastered over the surface which might be intentionally covered by a thin liquid layer. It is demonstrated that various types of submicrometer-sized particles including polystyrene latex, silica and alumina, can be efficiently removed, by laser cleaning, from the front sides of silicon wafers. These results are explained by a particle adhesion model, including van der Waals forces and hydrogen bonding, and a particle removal model involving rapid thermal expansion of the substrate due to the thermoelastic effect and the pressure shock due to bubble generation in the condensed water film. The result of the calculations of the adhesions and removal models are consistent with the experimental observations. In addition, the excimer laser technique was successfully used to remove micrometer-sized metallic particles from the backsides of silicon wafers; such a removal represents a challenging task in today's integrated circuit technology.