Abstract

Fiber-optic delivery of laser radiation using natural body pathways allows for less traumatic and lower cost surgical and therapeutic procedures. Useful fibers must be strong, flexible, and highly resistant to damage from laser radiation in an optically hostile environment. The wide assortment of possible procedures demands the delivery of laser wavelengths from 193 nm in the far ultraviolet range to 10.6 microns in the mid-infrared range. Therefore, an ideal fiber would have a broad transmission band. Bulk sapphire typically transmits over the 145-5000 nm spectral region.1 Fibers grown from sapphire can satisfy a number of the medical requirements as shown by earlier work.2–5 New measurements here quantify the transmission and damage resistance of an assortment of current state-of-the-art sapphire fibers. Fiber-optic delivery of laser radiation using natural body pathways allows for less traumatic and lower cost surgical and therapeutic procedures. Useful fibers must be strong, flexible, and highly resistant to damage from laser radiation in an optically hostile environment. The wide assortment of possible procedures demands the delivery of laser wavelengths from 193 nm in the far ultraviolet range to 10.6 microns in the mid-infrared range. Therefore, an ideal fiber would have a broad transmission band. Bulk sapphire typically transmits over the 145-5000 nm spectral region.1 Fibers grown from sapphire can satisfy a number of the medical requirements as shown by earlier work.2–5 New measurements here quantify the transmission and damage resistance of an assortment of current state-of-the-art sapphire fibers.

© 1991 Optical Society of America

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