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Design, fabrication and characterization of a capacitive micromachined ultrasonic probe for medical imaging

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7 Author(s)

In this paper we report the design, fabrication process, and characterization of a 64-elements capacitive micromachined ultrasonic transducer (cMUT), 3 MHz center frequency, 100% fractional bandwidth. Using this transducer, we developed a linear probe for application in medical echographic imaging. The probe was fully characterized and tested with a commercial echographic scanner to obtain first images from phantoms and in vivo human body. The results, which quickly follow similar results obtained by other researchers, clearly show the great potentiality of this new emerging technology. The cMUT probe works better than the standard piezoelectric probe as far as the axial resolution is concerned, but it suffers from low sensitivity. At present this can be a limit, especially for in depth operation. But we are strongly confident that significant improvements can be obtained in the very near future to overcome this limitation, with a better transducer design, the use of an acoustic lens, and using well matched, front-end electronics between the transducer and the echographic system.

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Ultrasonics, Ferroelectrics, and Frequency Control, IEEE Transactions on  (Volume:52 ,  Issue: 12 )