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IEEE Trans Ultrason Ferroelectr Freq Control. 2011 Oct;58(10):2202-12. doi: 10.1109/TUFFC.2011.2070.

A high-frequency linear ultrasonic array utilizing an interdigitally bonded 2-2 piezo-composite.

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University of Southern California, Department of Biomedical Engineering, Los Angeles, CA, USA.


This paper describes the development of a high-frequency 256-element linear ultrasonic array utilizing an interdigitally bonded (IB) piezo-composite. Several IB composites were fabricated with different commercial and experimental piezoelectric ceramics and evaluated to determine a suitable formulation for use in high-frequency linear arrays. It was found that the fabricated fine-scale 2-2 IB composites outperformed 1-3 IB composites with identical pillar- and kerf-widths. This result was not expected and lead to the conclusion that dicing damage was likely the cause of the discrepancy. Ultimately, a 2-2 composite fabricated using a fine-grain piezoelectric ceramic was chosen for the array. The composite was manufactured using one IB operation in the azimuth direction to produce approximately 19-μm-wide pillars separated by 6-μm-wide kerfs. The array had a 50 μm (one wavelength in water) azimuth pitch, two matching layers, and 2 mm elevation length focused to 7.3 mm using a polymethylpentene (TPX) lens. The measured pulse-echo center frequency for a representative array element was 28 MHz and -6-dB bandwidth was 61%. The measured single-element transmit -6-dB directivity was estimated to be 50°. The measured insertion loss was 19 dB after compensating for the effects of attenuation and diffraction in the water bath. A fine-wire phantom was used to assess the lateral and axial resolution of the array when paired with a prototype system utilizing a 64-channel analog beamformer. The -6-dB lateral and axial resolutions were estimated to be 125 and 68 μm, respectively. An anechoic cyst phantom was also imaged to determine the minimum detectable spherical inclusion, and thus the 3-D resolution of the array and beamformer. The minimum anechoic cyst detected was approximately 300 μm in diameter.

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