Excimer laser

Excimer laser . It is a form of ultraviolet laser that is commonly used in the manufacture of microelectronics , integrated circuits or ” chips “, eye surgery, and microfabrication.


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  • 1 Features
  • 2 Main applications
  • 3 Excimer laser treatment
  • 4 Sources


Lasers used for surgical procedures are emitted by a high-energy, focused light apparatus. That is why, when the light and energy laser is concentrated at a specific point, it ends up cutting it.

To carry out the operations, an exact line is marked where the laser will pass, it is programmed and the force of energetic light that loads it makes a cut.

One of the main applications has been in the field of ophthalmology and specifically laser eye surgery , which has contributed significantly to its development.

Another important feature of the excimer laser, in addition to making precise cuts, is that incisions can be made without the tissue or organ bleeding. This is what allows this tool to become a breakthrough for all types of surgeries.

Under these techniques, it is possible to correct pathologies of all kinds, some in superficial tissues such as removing a mole, and others located in more complicated tissues such as removing a tumor. For these reasons, lasers have a multitude of medical uses (both as treatment and therapeutic) and are used in specialties such as dermatology , ophthalmology, pain therapy and dentistry.

The excimer Laser removes tissues with an accuracy of up to 0.25 microns . Nowadays, in the second decade of its use, it has been technologically perfected, has added a tremendous margin of precision, control and security to the correction of vision errors.

Main applications

The most widespread industrial application of the excimer laser has been in deep ultraviolet (very short wavelength) photolithography, a fundamental technology used in the manufacture of microelectronic devices (ie integrated circuits or “chips”).

Historically, from the 1960s to the mid-1980s, mercury-xenon lamps had been used in photolithography for their spectral lines with wavelengths of 436, 405, and 365 nm. However, the new needs of the semiconductor industry, both to achieve higher resolution (to produce chips more densely integrated, and in less time) and to obtain higher performance (reduce costs), required more efficient lithography tools than the aforementioned lamps that were no longer able to meet the needs of the industry.

This challenge was overcome in 1982 when the viability of excimer laser lithography in deep UV was demonstrated at IBM by Kanti Jain. With the formidable advances in equipment technology that have occurred in the past two decades, today semiconductor electronic devices that are manufactured using excimer laser lithography represent a total annual production of $ 400 billion.

According to the semiconductor industry, excimer laser lithography (with the two lasers available from KrF and ArF) has been a crucial factor in the continued advancement of the so-called Moore’s law , (which describes the doubling of the number of transistors every two years. embedded in the new, higher-density chips – a trend expected to continue this decade, with smaller and smaller device sizes approaching 10 nanometers.) From an even broader scientific and technological perspective, since the invention of the laser in 1960, the development of excimer laser lithography has been highlighted as one of the major milestones in laser history for the past 50 years.

The light from the excimer laser is usually absorbed within the first billionth of a meter ( nanometer ) of the tissue it is incident on. In 1980-1983, Samuel Blum in collaboration with Rangaswamy Srinivasan and James Wynne, at IBM’s TJ Watson Research Center , observed the effect of the ultraviolet excimer laser on biological materials.

Upon further investigation, they found that the laser made clean and precise cuts, making it ideal for delicate surgeries. This gave rise to a fundamental patent 15 and Drs. Blum, Srinivasan, and Wynne were awarded the National Inventors Hall of Fame in 2002. Subsequent work introduced the excimer laser for use in angioplasty . Kansas State University pioneered the study of the excimer laser, which made LASIK surgery possible. The excimer xenon chloride laser (308nm) can also treat a variety of dermatological diseases, such as psoriasis , vitiligo , atopic dermatitis, alopecia areata, and leukoderma.

The ultraviolet light from the excimer laser is absorbed very well in tissues and organic components. Instead of cutting or burning, the excimer laser has enough energy to separate the bonds between the molecules in the tissues. The excimer laser has the property of being able to lift or eliminate small and thin layers of cells without damaging the tissues. These properties make the laser an excellent instrument for precision machines or delicate surgeries such as LASIK eye surgery.

For applications in deep UV photolithography for semiconductor chip manufacturing, excimer lasers have been highly industrialized, making them extremely reliable. However, as a light source, the excimer laser is generally large in size, which is a disadvantage in its medical applications, although its size decreases rapidly with ongoing development.

These lasers are also widely used in numerous fields of scientific research, both as primary sources and, in particular, the XeCl laser , as a pumping source for tunable dye lasers, mainly to excite the dyes emitting in the blue-green region of the spectrum.

Excimer laser treatment

It is an outpatient procedure that uses the cold, low intensity laser beam to shape the cornea, thus correcting myopia, hyperopia and / or astigmatism defects .

The refractive surgery with excimer laser is a highly effective and proven intervention. More than 98% of patients achieve vision that allows them to carry out their daily activities without relying on an additional lens.

Correcting vision defects using lasers allows operated people to eliminate dependence on glasses or contact lenses . Other benefits include savings on products related to vision correction, elimination of allergies or discomfort due to the use of contact lenses, a better quality of life in outdoor activities, and an improvement in personal appearance.


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