Evaluation of laser cleaning for the restoration of tarnished silver artifacts

T. Palomar, Mohamed Oujja, I. Llorente, Blanca Ramírez Barat, Maria Vega Cañamares, Emilio Cano, Marta Castillejo

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

17 Citations (Scopus)


In this study we evaluate the laser cleaning of tarnished pure and sterling silver substrates using a nanosecond Q-switched Nd:YAG laser at 1064, 532 and 266 nm. To assess the effects associated with cyclic laser cleaning treatments, several cycles of tarnishing followed by laser cleaning were applied on silver coupons that were characterized by gravimetry, colorimetry, scanning electron microscopy, X-ray photoelectron spectroscopy and micro-Raman spectroscopy. According to the obtained results, none of the three wavelengths is recommended for laser cleaning of pure silver objects, while for sterling silver artifacts, the visible laser wavelength of 532 nm seems the most appropriate.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)118-127
Number of pages10
JournalApplied Surface Science
Publication statusPublished - 30 Nov 2016


  • Cultural heritage
  • Laser cleaning
  • Silver
  • Sterling silver
  • Tarnishing

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