Imaging arrays with improved transmit power capability.
Bonded multilayer ceramics and composites incorporating low-loss piezoceramics have been applied to arrays for ultrasound imaging to improve acoustic transmit power levels and to reduce internal heating. Commercially available hard PZT from multiple vendors has been characterized for microstructure, ability to be processed, and electroacoustic properties. Multilayers using the best materials demonstrate the tradeoffs compared with the softer PZT5-H typically used for imaging arrays. Three-layer PZT4 composites exhibit an effective dielectric constant that is three times that of single layer PZT5H, a 50% higher mechanical Q, a 30% lower acoustic impedance, and only a 10% lower coupling coefficient. Application of low-loss multilayers to linear phased and large curved arrays results in equivalent or better element performance. A 3-layer PZT4 composite array achieved the same transmit intensity at 40% lower transmit voltage and with a 35% lower face temperature increase than the PZT-5 control. Although B-mode images show similar quality, acoustic radiation force impulse (ARFI) images show increased displacement for a given drive voltage. An increased failure rate for the multilayers following extended operation indicates that further development of the bond process will be necessary. In conclusion, bonded multilayer ceramics and composites allow additional design freedom to optimize arrays and improve the overall performance for increased acoustic output while maintaining image quality.
Zipparo, MJ; Bing, KF; Nightingale, KR
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