A two-dimensional array for B-mode and volumetric imaging with multiplexed electrostrictive elements.
A 2:1 multiplexed 2-D array has been developed that has a sparse element pattern designed for real time volumetric imaging and an alternate element pattern designed for B-mode imaging. For volumetric imaging, a small aperture was used to provide a wide transmit beam, allowing multiple beams to be received simultaneously. For B-mode imaging, a larger aperture with a more narrow transmit beam was used to improve image quality. Sparse random element patterns were evaluated by beamplot and cyst image simulations. Using the alternate element pattern for B-mode imaging, simulated cyst contrast was improved by 28%. The multiplexed transducer was fabricated using an electrostrictive material in which array elements were activated and deactivated by a dc bias field. The transducer had a 3.4 MHz center frequency with 46% bandwidth, which was consistent with KLM simulations. The high dielectric constant of the electrostrictive material resulted in an element clamped capacitance of 14.3 pF versus 2 pF for a convention PZT element. An output off isolation of -35 dB was measured for transmit and -61 dB for receive. The array was integrated with the volumetric scanner and used to make real time images of a cyst phantom. The images showed improved cyst contrast using the alternate aperture for B-mode imaging.
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