High-Speed Photography of Excimer Laser Ablation of the Cornea

Carmen A. Puliafito, David Stern, Ronald R. Krueger, Eric R. Mandel

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

99 Scopus citations


We have used laser-based highspeed photography to investigate excimer laser ablation of the cornea. Photographs of the ablation plume were obtained 500 ns to 150 μs 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 μs 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.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)1255-1259
Number of pages5
JournalArchives of Ophthalmology
Issue number9
StatePublished - Sep 1987
Externally publishedYes

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Ophthalmology


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