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We report on a new operation regime for capacitive micromachined ultrasonic transducers (cMUTs). Traditionally, cMUTs are operated at a bias voltage lower than the collapse voltage of their membranes. In the new proposed operation regime, first the cMUT is biased past the collapse voltage. Second, the bias voltage applied to the collapsed membrane is reduced without releasing the membrane. Third, the cMUT is excited with an ac signal at the bias point, keeping the total applied voltage between the collapse and snapback voltages. In this operation regime, the center of the membrane is always in contact with the substrate. Our finite element methods (FEM) calculations reveal that a cMUT operating in this new regime, between collapse and snapback voltages, possesses a coupling efficiency (k/sub T//sup 2/) higher than a cMUT operating in the conventional regime below its collapse voltage. This paper compares the simulation results of the coupling efficiencies of cMUTs operating in conventional and new operation regimes.