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3 March 2000 Retinal damage from femtosecond to nanosecond laser exposure
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The Air Force has led a research effort to investigate the thresholds and mechanisms for retinal damage from ultrashort laser pulses. The results suggest that nonlinear optical phenomena mitigate the eventual damage threshold of the retina, while the fundamental mechanisms for damage remain unchanged from 100 fs to 10 microsecond(s) . The result of this research is a recommendation for the establishment of maximum permissible exposure limits in the visible and near IR that reflect the results of the nonlinear interaction. We review the progress made in determine trends in retinal damage from laser pulses from one nanosecond to one hundred femtoseconds for visible and near-IR wavelengths including variations in spot size and number of pulses. We discuss the most likely damage mechanisms, including nonlinear optical interactions pertinent in this pulse width regime and discuss relevance to laser safety.
© (2000) COPYRIGHT Society of Photo-Optical Instrumentation Engineers (SPIE). Downloading of the abstract is permitted for personal use only.
Robert J. Thomas, Gary D. Noojin, David J. Stolarski, Gordon T. Hengst, Cynthia A. Toth M.D., William P. Roach, and Benjamin A. Rockwell "Retinal damage from femtosecond to nanosecond laser exposure", Proc. SPIE 3902, Laser-Induced Damage in Optical Materials: 1999, (3 March 2000);


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