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Temperature measurement for energy-efficient ablation by thermal radiation with a microsecond time constant from the corneal surface during ArF excimer laser ablation

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Measurement of the temperature of the corneal surface during photorefractive keratectomy (PRK) is thought to be useful for monitoring the corneal ablation process, since the photothermal process has been proposed as the major mechanism of ArF excimer laser ablation. For temperature measurement, we measured thermal radiation from the corneal surface during ArF excimer laser ablation using a mercury- cadmium-telluride detector with a 1-μs time constant. To investigate the effects of temperature on ablation depth, the ablation depth of the cornea was measured by microscopy. When corneal ablation was initiated at the fluence of 65 mJ/cm2, the corneal surface temperature rose to 60-70°C. The energy required for a unit-depth ablation (°C/μm) was lowest at 120 °C. Monitoring of transient temperature during PRK provides important information on energy-efficient ablation, which may enable rapid and safe corneal incisions.


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