Laser ablation for the formation of apodized patterns on intraocular lenses, as an alternative of the conventional injection molding, has been proved to be a very promising new technique. For the precise lenses ablation, the use of suitable laser wavelength and pulse duration, resulting in a small optical penetration depth in the lens and in confinement of the energy deposition in a small volume, as well as the reduced thermal damage to the surrounding tissue, is essential.
Mid-infrared laser wavelengths, at which the organic biological simulators absorption coefficient is large, meet well the above conditions. Towards the complete understanding of the intraocular lens ablation procedure and therefore the choice of the optimum laser beam characteristics for the most accurate, efficient and safe surgical application, the comparative study of various mid-infrared laser sources is of great interest.
In this work we investigate the potential of the development of three different mid-infrared laser sources, namely the Yb:YAG, the Cr:Tm:Ho:YAG and the Er:Tm:Ho:YLF laser, operating at 1029 nm, 2060 nm and 2080 nm respectively and their ability in forming patterns on biomaterials. Pumping was achieved with conventional Xe flash lamps in a double elliptical pump chamber. A properly designed Pulse-Forming-Network capable of delivering energy up to 800 J, in variable lamp illumination durations is used. Several hundreds of mJoules were achieved from the Yb:YAG laser oscillator and several Joules from the Ho:YAG and Ho:YLF laser oscillators. Free running and Q-switched laser operation studies and preliminary experiments on laser and biomaterials (biopolymers and animal tissues) interactions will be reported.
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