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Cleaning of artificially soiled paper with 532-nm nanosecond laser radiation

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Cleaning of paper is a challenging task due to the fact that a contamination should be removed and a fragile organic original material has to be preserved. Pulsed laser cleaning of artificially soiled Whatman© filter paper samples serving as models for historical paper was performed. Different cleaning strategies employing 8-ns laser pulses at 532 nm wavelength were applied to clean paper avoiding undesired effects like discoloration (yellowing) and mechanical deterioration of the substrate. Multi shot experiments with low-energy pulses were compared with single pulse investigations utilizing high pulse energies achieving a constant energy load incident on the samples in both cases. The cleaning efficiency and possible yellowing effects were evaluated by means of a multi spectral imaging system. An extensive microscopic analysis of the cleaned parts of the samples provided insight into the remaining soiling on the surface and in the bulk of the paper material after laser treatment. As a reference, a hard and a soft eraser were used to clean the samples.

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Correspondence to J. Krüger.

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42.62.-b; 81.65.Cf; 61.66.Hq; 79.20.Ds

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Krüger, J., Pentzien, S. & Conradi, A. Cleaning of artificially soiled paper with 532-nm nanosecond laser radiation. Appl. Phys. A 92, 179–183 (2008).

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