Although laser cleaning is being applied nowadays in different fields, mainly for artworks conservation, laser cleaning of metals, namely precious metals, is still far from providing widely acceptable results, producing instead "dull" surfaces.
In this paper, Silver samples with diverse surface characteristics have been used in order to test laser cleaning, with different kinds of contamination such as copper particles, silver sulphide and industrial production oil.
Also different kind of laser sources, from UV (Excimer, KrF) to mid-Infra Red (CO2) have been applied with several pulse lengths from nano seconds to milliseconds.
An overview of the results in terms of cleaning efficiency and cleaning success is presented and correlated with the optical properties of the contaminations and thermal properties of sample substrate.
The evaluation of laser cleaning has been performed by different analysis techniques such as SEM and EDX and colorimetry.