High-speed photography of excimer laser ablation of the cornea

Arch Ophthalmol. 1987 Sep;105(9):1255-9. doi: 10.1001/archopht.1987.01060090113039.


We have used laser-based high-speed photography to investigate excimer laser ablation of the cornea. Photographs of the ablation plume were obtained 500 ns to 150 microseconds after incidence of a 193- or 248-nm excimer laser pulse on the surface of the cornea. Ejection of material from the cornea begins on a time scale of nanoseconds and continues for 5 to 15 microseconds following the excimer pulse. At 193 nm the ablation plume resembles a burst of smoke, and individual particles are too small to be optically resolved with our apparatus. At 248 nm the plume resembles a spray of larger, discrete droplets. Material is ejected from the cornea at supersonic velocity but decelerates rapidly; the velocity for the first 500 ns following the excimer pulse averages 400 m/s at 193 nm. Plume size and velocity increase with increasing fluence.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't
  • Research Support, U.S. Gov't, Non-P.H.S.

MeSH terms

  • Animals
  • Cattle
  • Cornea / surgery*
  • Laser Therapy*
  • Photography / methods*
  • Time Factors