Two-dimensional arrays for medical ultrasound using multilayer flexible circuit interconnection.
The development of 2-D array transducers has received much recent interest. Unfortunately, fabrication of high density 2-D arrays is difficult due to the large number of electrical interconnections which must be made to the back side of the elements. A typical array operating at 2.2 MHz may have 256 or more connections within a 16.4 mm circular footprint. Interconnection becomes even more challenging as operating frequencies increase. To solve this problem, we have developed a multilayer flexible (MLF) circuit interconnect consisting of a polyimide dielectric with inter-laminar vias routing signals vertically and etched metal traces routing signals horizontally. A transducer is fabricated from an MLF by bonding a PZT chip to its surface and dicing the chip into individual elements, with the saw kerf extending partially into the top polyimide layer to ensure physical and electrical isolation of the elements. The KLM model was used to compare the performance of an MLF 2-D array to a conventional hand wired 2-D array. MLF and wire guide transducers were fabricated, each with 256 active elements, 0.4 mm interelement spacing, and 2.2 MHz center frequency. Vector impedance, pulse length, bandwidth, angular response, and cross-coupling were found to be comparable in both types of arrays. Using the MLF, however, fabrication time was reduced dramatically. More importantly, MLF technology may be used to increase 2-D array connection density beyond the limitations of current of hand wired fabrication techniques. Thus MLF circuits provide a means for the interconnection of current and future high frequency 2-D arrays.
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