The experimental analysis of dry laser cleaning efficiency is done for certified spherical particle (SiO2, 5.0, 2.5, 1.0, and 0.5 μm) from different substrates (Si, Ge, and NiP). The influence of different options (laser wavelength, incident angle, substrate properties, i.e., type of material, surface roughness, etc.) on the cleaning efficiency is presented in addition to commonly analyzed options (cleaning efficiency versus laser fluence and particle size). Found laser cleaning efficiency demonstrates a great sensitivity to some of these options (e.g., laser wavelength, angle of incidence, etc.). Partially these effects can be explained within the frame of the microelectronics engineering (MIE) theory of scattering. Other effects (e.g., influence of roughness) can be explained along the more complex line, related to examination of the problem “particle on the surface” beyond the MIE theory. The theory of dry laser cleaning, based on one-dimensional thermal expansion of the substrate, demonstrates a great sensitivity of the cleaning efficiency on laser pulse shape. For the reasonable pulse shape this theory yields the threshold fluence by the order of magnitude larger than the experimental one. At the same time the theory, which takes into account the near-field optical enhancement and three-dimensional thermal expansion effects, yields the correct values for threshold. © 2001 American Institute of Physics.