The surface-cleaning effect of metals was investigated using KrF-excimer-laser irradiation of metal surfaces in air. The laser-induced cleaning of copper, stainless steel and aluminum surfaces was studied. It is found that laser cleaning is an effective cleaning process for metals even if the metal surfaces are heavily contaminated. It is also found that short wavelength and pulse duration are necessary for laser surface-cleaning. The energy density of the laser pulse is an important parameter in the cleaning process. Low energy density results in a cleaner surface but a larger pulse number is required, whereas high energy density can achieve higher cleaning efficiency but the temperature rise can cause surface oxidation and secondary contamination. In contrast to the KrF-excimer-laser, the pulsed CO2 laser is not effective in surface-cleaning. The mechanisms of laser cleaning may include laser photodecomposition, laser ablation and surface vibration due to the impact of the laser pulse. Laser cleaning provides a new dry process to clean different substrate surfaces and can replace the conventional wet cleaning processes such as ultrasonic cleaning with CFC and other organic solvents.
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Materials Science(all)
- Physics and Astronomy (miscellaneous)