Finite element analysis of a deformable array transducer.
Deformable array transducers have previously been described to implement 2-D phase aberration correction of near-field aberrators with only a 1xN or 2xN array configuration. This transducer design combines mechanical phase correction using an actuator with electronic phase correction for a 2-D correction with significantly fewer elements than a full 2-D array. We have previously reported the fabrication and results of a 1x32 deformable array fabricated with a RAINBOW (Reduced And INternally Biased Wafer) actuator. Because of the complicated construction of deformable arrays, we propose to use finite element analysis (FEA) as a design tool for array development. In this paper, we use 2-D and 3-D FEA to model the experimental results of the deformable array as the first step toward development of a design tool. Because the deformable array combines a mechanical actuator with a medical ultrasound transducer, improvement in performance must consider both the ultrasound characterization along with the low frequency actuator characterization. For the ultrasound characterization, time domain FEA simulations of electrical vector impedance accurately predicted the measurements of single array elements. Additionally, simulations of pulse-echo sensitivity and bandwidth were also well matched to measurements. For the low frequency actuator characterization, time domain simulation of the low frequency vector impedance accurately predicted measurement and confirmed the fundamental flexure resonance of the cantilever configuration at 1.3 kHz. Frequency domain FEA included thermal processing effects and predicted actuator curvature arising during fabrication. Finally, frequency domain FEA simulations of voltage-induced displacement accurately predicted measured displacement.
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