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Proceedings Paper

Infrared laser damage thresholds for skin at wavelengths from 0.810 to 1.54 microns for femtosecond to microsecond pulse durations
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Paper Abstract

In this paper we report on our combined measurements of the visible lesion thresholds for porcine skin for wavelengths in the infrared from 810 nm at 44 fs to 1318 nm at pulse durations of 50 ns and 350&mgr;s to 1540 nm including pulse durations of 31 ns and 600 &mgr;s. We also measure thresholds for various spot sizes from less than 1 mm to 5 mm in diameter. All three wavelengths and five pulse durations are used extensively in research and the military. We compare these minimum visible lesion thresholds with ANSI standards set for maximum permissible exposures in the infrared wavelengths. We have measured non-linear effects at the laser-tissue interface for pulse durations below 1&mgr;s and determined that damage at these short pulse durations are usually not thermal effects. Damage at the skin surface may include acoustical effects, laser ablation and/or low-density plasma effects, depending on the wavelength and pulse duration. Also the damage effects may be short-lived and disappear within a few days or may last for much longer time periods including permanent discolorations. For femtosecond pulses at 810 nm, damage was almost instant and at 1 hour had an ED50 of 8.2 mJ of pulse energy. After 24 hours, most of the lesions disappeared and the ED50 increased by almost a factor of 3 to 21.3 mJ. There was a similar trend for the 1.318 &mgr; laser for spot sizes of 2 mm and 5 mm where the ED50 was larger after 24 hours. However, for the 1.54 &mgr; laser with a spot size of 5 mm, the ED50 actually decreased by a small amount; from 6.3 Jcm-2 to 6.1 Jcm-2 after 24 hours. Thresholds also decreased for the 1314 nm laser at 350 &mgr;s for spot sizes of 0.7 mm and 1.3 mm diameter after 24 hours. Different results were obtained for the 1540 nm laser at 600 &mgr;s pulse durations where the ED50 decreased for spot sizes 1 mm and below, but increased slightly for the 5 mm diameter spot size from 6.4 Jcm-2 to 7.4 Jcm-2

Paper Details

Date Published: 21 February 2007
PDF: 12 pages
Proc. SPIE 6435, Optical Interactions with Tissue and Cells XVIII, 64350W (21 February 2007); doi: 10.1117/12.715199
Show Author Affiliations
Clarence P. Cain, Northrop Grumman (United States)
William P. Roach, AFRL/HEDO (United States)
David J. Stolarski, Northrop Grumman (United States)
Gary D. Noojin, Northrop Grumman (United States)
Semih S. Kumru, AFRL/HEDO (United States)
Kevin L. Stockton, Northrop Grumman (United States)
Justin J. Zohner, AFRL/HEDO (United States)
Benjamin A. Rockwell, AFRL/HEDO (United States)

Published in SPIE Proceedings Vol. 6435:
Optical Interactions with Tissue and Cells XVIII
Steven L. Jacques; William P. Roach, Editor(s)

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