Sapphire optical fibers for the delivery of Erbium:YAG laser energy

Jeremiah J. Fitzgibbon, Herbert E. Bates, Adrian P. Pryshlak, Jeffrey R. Dugan, Joel S. Schuman, Dan Eisenberg, Lisa McHam

Research output: Contribution to journalConference articlepeer-review


Utilization of the promising Erbium:YAG laser has been hindered by the lack of a truly effective optical fiber delivery system. In a National Eye Institute funded Phase I SBIR, sapphire fibers produced by the Saphikon Edge-defined, Film-fed Growth (EFG) technique were proven effective in delivering 2.94 micron Er:YAG laser energy in pre-clinical in-vitro ophthalmic procedures. A brief overview of the results of both the ab-externo sclerostomy and laser trabecular ablation (LTA) procedures is given. A Design of Experiments methodology was used to significantly reduce average loss and variability of the EFG fibers, with losses below 1 dB/meter demonstrated in multi-meter lengths of 300 micron diameter fiber. Laser damage threshold levels above 1000 J/cm2, and power handling capability over 8 watts has been demonstrated. Details of ongoing and planned pre-clinical and clinical studies in ophthalmic, otologic, and dental procedures are discussed, along with other, non-medical applications for the sapphire fibers. Introduction of additional fiber diameters and devices is also reviewed.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)60-70
Number of pages11
JournalProceedings of SPIE - The International Society for Optical Engineering
StatePublished - May 1 1995
EventBiomedical Optoelectronic Instrumentation 1995 - San Jose, United States
Duration: Feb 1 1995Feb 28 1995

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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