Aesthetics Treatments with Diffractive Optics
As the use of laser technology becomes a more integral tool in the field of
aesthetic treatments, the ability to manipulate the output of the laser is
increasingly important. Diffractive Optical Elements (DOE) provide a unique
solution by allowing for the beam to be manipulated in a myriad of ways, and at
the same time are thin and compact.
Skin resurfacing includes a wide range of treatments meant to rejuvenate the
appearance of the skin from imperfections caused by many factors, including
acne, scarring, and excessive sun exposure. Multispot elements have proven to be
effective in assisting with more efficient skin resurfacing procedures. Creating
a 2D matrix of smaller laser beams covers more area of the skin than a single
laser beam, thus reducing procedure time. Moreover, healing time is shorter and
more effective because the laser affects the skin in an even pattern, and the
uneffected skin between spots allows for a shorter migration path for epidermal
stem cells to develop and rejuvenate the skin.
Common wavelengths: 10600 nm
(CO2), 2940 nm (Er:YAG)
Figure 1. A gaussian input beam split into a 9x9
2. Multispot set-up.
When using a non-uniform, or gaussian, beam when performing tattoo removal,
this can cause "hot spots" on the skin of the patient since such a small area is
so highly concentrated with laser power. This has several disadvantages,
including increased healing time, increased procedure difficulty due to overlap
of the laser pulses, and longer procedure duration. Using a top-hat beam shaper
or homogenizer DOE creates a uniform beam that decreases the presence of hot
spots, allowing for a shorter healing time; this is thanks to the less
concentrated and more uniform energy distribution on the skin. Also, a
homogenizer DOE makes it easier for the technician to perform the procedure in
an effective way that provides uniform treatment on the entire effected area and
minimal overlap between pulses. Moreover, the duration of the procedure is
shortened because the DOE provides a larger effective area on the skin than an
uneven beam profile.
Relevant products: Diffuser, Top
Common wavelengths: 1064 and 532 nm (Nd:YAG),
694 nm (Ruby), dependent on tattoo ink color.
Figure 3. A gaussian input beam converted into a round
or square homogenized spot.
4. Homogenizer set-up.
removal is another area of aesthetics where laser homogeneity provides a big
advantage. Laser hair removal utilizes a technique called selective
photothermolysis (SPTL), where targeted tissue is heated with minimal effect on
adjacent tissue. The hair follicles in the target area are damaged, and the hair
growth stunted. Using a non-uniform beam decreases the effectiveness of the
SPTL; it becomes more difficult to know which part of the target area was
affected and which was not. Also, due to the larger transfer region of a
non-uniform beam, unintentional overlapping of the beam can occur, thus damaging
the skin and causing uneven results. The use of a homogenizer DOE allows for a
uniform beam profile which makes it easier to discern between affected regions
and unaffected regions, and its narrow transfer region reduces the chance of
unintentional overlapping. Additionally, the increased effected area of the beam
on the skin causes a reduction in procedure time.
products: Diffuser, Top
Common wavelengths: 694 nm (Ruby), 755 nm
(alexandrite laser), 800 nm (diode laser), 1064 nm (Nd:YAG)
Laser body contouring is
performed by shrinking subcutaneous fat cells with laser radiation. The use of a
homogenizing DOE can assist in this treatment, and it can decrease unwanted side
effects, such as skin blemishes and hyperpigmentation. By using a more uniform
beam that covers a larger effected region on the body, procedure time is
reduced, thus creating a more favorable experience for the patient and a more
economical solution for the health care provider. Moreover, the even intensity
distribution lowers the risk of burning and hyperpigmentation because the laser
radiation is not so heavily concentrated in such a small area like with a
regular gaussian beam.
products: Diffuser, Top
Common wavelengths: 635 nm, 658 nm, 915 nm, 940
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