Effects of laser-induced breakdown, self-focusing, and plasma shielding on ultrashort-pulse propagation in the eye

Paul K. Kennedy, Ewan M. Wright, Quanyuan Feng, Kirk Cook, Daniel X. Hammer, Charles R. Thompson, Jerome V. Moloney, Benjamin A. Rockwell, Jeffrey J. Druessel, Alan C. Newell

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingConference contribution

3 Scopus citations


As part of a research program to understand and model eye damage produced by exposure to subnanosecond laser pulses, an effort is currently being made to model and analyze ultrashort pulse propagation from the cornea to the retina. Both analytical models and numerical simulations are being used to analyze the effects of self-focusing, laser-induced breakdown (LIB), and plasma-pulse interaction. The modeling effort is coupled with experimental measurements of LIB thresholds and plasma shielding for visible, picosecond (psec) and femtosecond (fsec) pulses in water, which serves as a reasonable simulant for the vitreous humor of the eye. Comparison of LIB thresholds to the critical power for self-focusing indicates that self-focusing has little effect on LIB thresholds for long psec pulses. For short psec and fsec pulses, however, numerical simulations show that self-focusing is critical to LIB in water. These results indicate that self-focusing may play a role in fsec pulse ocular damage, by influencing whether LIB and plasma-pulse interaction occur at the retina, in the vitreous, or both. Both the location of the LIB event and the amount of plasma shielding can significantly effect the degree of damage.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Title of host publicationProceedings of SPIE - The International Society for Optical Engineering
Number of pages12
StatePublished - 1996
EventLaser-Tissue Interaction VII - San Jose, CA, USA
Duration: Jan 29 1996Feb 1 1996


OtherLaser-Tissue Interaction VII
CitySan Jose, CA, USA

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Electronic, Optical and Magnetic Materials
  • Condensed Matter Physics
  • Computer Science Applications
  • Applied Mathematics
  • Electrical and Electronic Engineering


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