Abstract

We produce minimally disruptive breakdown in water by using tightly focused 100-fs laser pulses and demonstrate the potential use of this technique in microsurgery of the eye. Using time-resolved imaging and piezoelectric pressure detection, we measure the magnitude and speed of propagation of the pressure wave produced in the breakdown. Compared with breakdown with longer pulses, here there is a much lower energy threshold for breakdown of 0.2 µJ, a smaller shock zone diameter (11 µm for 1µJ pulses), and consistent energy deposition.

© 1997 Optical Society of America

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