Flexible beam guiding in a microsurgical UV laser scalpel

Georg Hillrichs, Hartmut Dietz, Martin Rütting, Stanislav Schastak, Peter Wiedemann, Yuji Matsuura, Mitsunobu Miyagi, Karl Friedrich Klein

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

8 Citations (Scopus)


Many potential microsurgical applications of UV laser radiation need a flexible beam guiding system. Especially for the argon fluorine excimer laser-(λ = 193 nm) and for the 5th harmonic of the Nd:YAG laser (λ=213 nm) the use of optical fused silica fibers is difficult. In this work we designed and tested a laboratory prototype of a scalpel for surgical treatments of the retina based on UV laser ablation. To achieve the necessary flexibility and to provide laser fluences above the ablation threshold of retina we developed a new type of beam guiding device. A hollow core waveguide is used in combination with a short length of a special fused silica optical fiber to guide the laser beam. To increase the laser fluence at the distal scalpel tip and to achieve a very small cut width a fused silica fiber (core diameter 600 μm) has been tapered down to a diameter of about 150 μm. We discuss some details of the UV laser beam guiding and show the first results of laser cutting experiments.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)199-206
Number of pages8
JournalProceedings of SPIE - The International Society for Optical Engineering
Publication statusPublished - 2002


  • Excimer laser
  • Flexible beam guiding
  • Hollow core waveguide
  • Laser microsurgery
  • Laser scalpel
  • UV optical fiber


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