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Application of a UV FEL to Studies of the Photoablation of Organic Polymers and Tissue

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Abstract

A simple and convenient source of laser radiation in the ultraviolet region became available with the invention of the excimer laser in the 1970’s. Studies of the interaction of UV laser pulses with solid organic matter such as synthetic polymers and biological tissue led to the discovery in 1982 (1-4) of the phenomenon of "ablative photodecomposition" which results in the breakup of the structure of the organic solid by photons and the expulsion of the fragments at supersonic velocities. The result is an etch pattern in the solid, with a geometry that is defined by the light beam. The principal advantages in using UV rather than visible or infrared laser radiation for this purpuse lie in the precision (± 2000 Å) with which the depth of the cut can be controlled and the lack of thermal damage to the substrate to a microscopic level.

© 1988 Optical Society of America

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