Assessment of laser treatment on dolostones colonized by microorganisms and lichens

M. Alvarez de Buergo, M. Gomez-Heras, R. Fort, C. Ascaso, A. de los Ríos, S. Pérez Ortega, M. Speranza, J. Wierzchos, M. Sanz, M. Oujja, M. Castillejo

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingChapterpeer-review

6 Scopus citations


The preliminary results of the laser assessment for biofilms removal on rock surfaces are shown. The procedure consisted of laser irradiation (Nd:YAG, 1064 nm, 10 ns, 200 mJ) on a dolostone colonized by microorganisms (mainly cyanobacteria) and lichens. Samples were taken to assess the effectiveness of laser treatment on both the lichens thalli and microbial communities (SEM-BSE and TEM), and also on the stone substrate (SEM-SE + EDS). The results show that lichen thalli were eliminated only partially. The laser fluence applied was not enough to efficiently eliminate and/or damage the majority of lichen thalli, which is in accordance with previous laboratory results, where it was demonstrated that a higher fluence is necessary to clean and make inactive lichen symbionts. No damage was found in the dolomite crystals after laser radiation. Roughness and color were recorded before and after laser treatment. Continuous monitoring of the thermal processes during laser irradiation showed that thermal gradient is extremely high.

Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationScience and Technology for the Conservation of Cultural Heritage
PublisherCRC Press
Number of pages5
ISBN (Electronic)9780203508015
ISBN (Print)9781138000094
StatePublished - 1 Jan 2013
Externally publishedYes

Bibliographical note

Publisher Copyright:
© 2013 Taylor & Francis Group, London.


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