In this paper, we present the results of studies on the photoluminescence (PL) of porous silicon (PSi) samples obtained by etching with the assistance of silver metal in different ways. If the Si sample, after being coated with a layer of silver nanoparticles, is electrochemically etched, its PL intensity becomes hundreds of times stronger than the PL intensity when it is chemically etched in the similar conditions. The difference in the PL intensities is explained partly by the anodic oxidation of silicon which occurs during the electrochemical etching process. The most obvious evidence that silicon had been oxidized anodically in the electrochemical etching process is the disappearance of the PSi layer and the appearance of the silicon oxide layer with mosaic structure when the anodization current density is large enough. The anodic oxidation has the effect of PSi surface passivation. Because of that, the PL of obtained PSi becomes stronger and more stable with time. Copyright © 2012 John Wiley & Sons, Ltd.