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Opt Express. 2011 Jan 3;19(1):230-40. doi: 10.1364/OE.19.000230.

Surface ablation of corneal stroma with few-cycle laser pulses at 800 nm.

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Département d'Ophtalmologie, Université de la Méditerranée, Marseille, France.


We report measurements of crater diameter and surface ablation threshold as a function of laser fluence in porcine corneal stroma and fused silica with pulse durations of 7 fs (2.7 optical cycles), 30 fs and 100 fs at 800 nm. For laser pulses with Gaussian radial intensity profile, we show experimentally that the square of the crater diameter is a linear function of the logarithm of the fluence in fused silica, while it is closer to a linear function of the fluence in corneal stroma. Extrapolating these relations to zero diameter indicates that for both media the minimum fluence required for surface ablation is reduced with shorter pulse duration. A simple theoretical model suggests that this effect is due to a more significant contribution of photoionization as the laser pulse duration shortens.

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