Laser Chemistry
Volume 2006 (2006), Article ID 10647, 7 pages
Research Article

Varnish Ablation Control by Optical Coherence Tomography

1Institute of Physics, Nicolaus Copernicus University, ul. Grudziadzka 5, Toruń 87 100, Poland
2Institute of Optoelectronics, Military University of Technology, ul. Kaliskiego 2, Warszawa 00  908, Poland

Received 15 September 2006; Accepted 7 November 2006

Academic Editor: Costas Fotakis

Copyright © 2006 Michalina Góra et al. This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License, which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.


Preliminary results of the application of optical coherence tomography (OCT), in particular in its spectral mode (SOCT) to the control of a varnish ablation process, are presented. Examination of the ablation craters made with an Er:YAG laser allows optimization of the laser emission parameters controlling fluence with respect to efficiency and safety of the ablation process. Results of measurements of ablation crater depth as a function of the number of pulses for a given fluence are presented for selected resins. This validates the applicability of SOCT to calibration of ablation conditions for the particular laser-varnish-paint layer combinations, and of its usage in planning the varnish ablation procedure. These results also imply that a review of conventional ablation thresholds is called for. Applicability of the SOCT technique to contemporaneous in situ monitoring of the range of varnish ablation is discussed.