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Journal of Biomedical Optics • Open Access

Erbium: yttrium–aluminum–garnet laser induced vapor bubbles as a function of the quartz fiber tip geometryErbium: yttrium–aluminum–garnet laser induced vapor bubbles as a function of the quartz fiber tip geometry
Author(s): Michael Mrochen; Peter Riedel; Christof Donitzky; Theo Seiler

Paper Abstract

The use of modern erbium: yttrium– aluminum–garnet (YAG) laser systems in opthalmic microsurgery requires a precise knowledge of the size and dynamics of the laser induced vapor bubbles. The aim of this work was to clarify the possibilities of controlling the vapor bubble shape and size by using an optimized fiber tip geometry for various ophthalmic applications with the erbium: YAG laser. Methods. The mid-infrared radiation of freerunning erbium: YAG laser was coupled optically into means of different low OH2 quartz fiber tips to investigate the vapor bubble formation in water by high-speed photography. The core diameter of four fiber tips ranged from 200 up to 940 mm. Fourteen fiber tips were polished at an angle graduated from 10° to 70° over the full core diameter (seven fiber tips) and over the half core diameter (seven fiber tips). Three fiber tips were produced to have a curvature at the distal end with curvature radii of 160, 230, and 420 mm. Results. The shape as well as the size of erbium: YAG laser induced vapor bubbles can be controlled systematically by using adequate fiber tip geometries. In detail, the used different angles and curvatures demonstrate that the propagation direction of the vapor bubbles can be estimated by optical modeling considering Snell’s law and the Fresnel laws at a quartzair boundary. Beside this, the size of a vapor bubble can be predetermined by choosing ideal fiber tip geometries to reduce or increase the radiant exposure at the distal end of the quartz fiber tip. Conclusions. The good possibility of controlling the shape and size of vapor bubbles offers a wider range of new applications, especially in ophthalmic microsurgery such as erbium YAG laser vitrectomy.

Paper Details

Date Published: 1 July 2001
PDF: 7 pages
J. Biomed. Opt. 6(3) doi: 10.1117/1.1381052
Published in: Journal of Biomedical Optics Volume 6, Issue 3
Show Author Affiliations
Michael Mrochen, Univ. Zuerich (Switzerland)
Peter Riedel, Univ. of Dresden (Germany)
Christof Donitzky, Wavelight Laser Technologie GmbH (Germany)
Theo Seiler, Univ. Zuerich (Switzerland)

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