Laser cleaning on Roman coins

E. Drakaki*, A. G. Karydas, B. Klinkenberg, M. Kokkoris, A. A. Serafetinides, E. Stavrou, R. Vlastou, C. Zarkadas

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

26 Scopus citations

Abstract

Ancient metal objects react with moisture and environmental chemicals to form various corrosion products. Because of the unique character and high value of such objects, any cleaning procedure should guarantee minimum destructiveness. The most common treatment used is mechanical stripping, in which it is difficult to avoid surface damage when employed. Lasers are currently being tested for a wide range of conservation applications. Since they are highly controllable and can be selectively applied, lasers can be used to achieve more effective and safer cleaning of archaeological artifacts and protect their surface details. The basic criterion that motivated us to use lasers to clean Roman coins was the requirement of pulsed emission, in order to minimize heat-induced damages. In fact, the laser interaction with the coins has to be short enough, to produce a fast removal of the encrustation, avoiding heat conduction into the substrate. The cleaning effects of three lasers operating at different wavelengths, namely a TEA CO2 laser emitting at 10.6 μm, an Er : YAG laser at 2.94 μm, and a 2ω-Nd : YAG laser at 532 nm have been compared on corroded Romans coins and various atomic and nuclear techniques have also been applied to evaluate the efficiency of the applied procedure.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1111-1115
Number of pages5
JournalApplied Physics A: Materials Science and Processing
Volume79
Issue number4-6
DOIs
StatePublished - 2004
Externally publishedYes

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