• 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.
Puliafito CA, Stern D, Krueger RR, Mandel ER. High-Speed Photography of Excimer Laser Ablation of the Cornea. Arch Ophthalmol. 1987;105(9):1255-1259. doi:10.1001/archopht.1987.01060090113039