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Nd:YAG (neodymium-doped yttrium aluminium garnet) is a crystal that is used as a laser medium for solid-state lasers.
The triply ionised neodymium [Nd(III)] dopant (ie a substance added in minute amounts to another pure substance to alter its conductivity), typically replaces a small fraction of the yttrium ions in the host crystal structure, since the two ions are of similar size.
The neodymium ion provides the laser activity in the crystal.
Nd:YAG laser has a wavelength of 1064 nm and has the capability to reach deeper layers of skin tissue than other types of lasers.
In Q-switched mode, Nd:YAG produces 2 wavelengths, one in the infrared range (1064 nm) and a second beam of 532 nm wavelength which is useful for superficial skin lesions. Q-switching refers to the technique of making the laser produce a high intensity beam in very short pulses
Blue, grey and black tattoos can be removed with a Q-switched Nd:YAG laser (1064 nm wavelength).
The colour of the tattoo and the depth of the pigment influence the duration and the outcome of the laser treatment.
Laser treatment involves the selective destruction of ink molecules that are then absorbed by macrophages and eliminated.
Typical settings are pulse duration: 10 nanoseconds, output energy: 300?500Mj.