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Thermoelastic expansion vs. piezoelectricity for high-frequency, 2-D arrays.


Optical generation using the thermoelastic effect has traditionally suffered from low conversion efficiency. We previously demonstrated increased efficiency of nearly 20 dB with an optical absorbing layer consisting of a mixture of polydimethylsiloxane (PDMS) and carbon black spin coated onto a glass microscope slide. In this paper we show that the radiated power from a black PDMS film is comparable to a 20 MHz piezoelectric two-dimensional (2-D) array element. Furthermore, we predict that a thermoelastic array element can produce similar acoustic power levels compared to ideal piezoelectric 2-D array elements at frequencies in the 100 MHz regime. We believe these results show that thermoelastic generation of ultrasound is a promising alternative to piezoelectricity for high-frequency, 2-D arrays.

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