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A single-element transducer with nonuniform thickness for high-frequency broadband applications

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3 Author(s)
J. -H. Liu ; Dept. of Electr. Eng., Nat. Taiwan Univ., Taipei ; S. -Y. Chen ; P. -C. Li

The design, fabrication, and evaluation of a high-frequency single-element transducer are described. The transducer has an annular geometry, with the thickness of the piezoelectric material increasing from the center to the outside. This single-element annular transducer (SEAT) can provide a broader frequency range than a conventional single-element transducer with a uniform thickness (single-element uniform transducer, or SEUT). We compared the characteristics of a SEAT and a SEUT. Both transducers used 36deg-rotated, Y-cut lithium niobate (LiNbO3) material. The SEAT had a diameter of 6 mm and comprised 6 subelements of equal area (electrically connected by a single electrode on each side) whose thickness ranged from 60 mum (center) to 110 mum (outside), which resulted in the center frequency of the subelements varying from 59.8 MHz to 25 MHz. The overall center frequency was 42.4 MHz. The annular pattern was constructed using an ultrasonic sculpturing machine that reduced the root-mean-square value of the surface roughness to 454.47 nm. The bandwidth of the SEAT was 19% larger than that of the SEUT. However, compared with the SEUT, the 2-way insertion loss of the SEAT was increased by 3.1 dB. The acoustic beam pattern of the SEAT was also evaluated numerically by finite-element simulations and experimentally by an ultrasound beam analyzer. At the focus (10.5 mm from the transducer surface), the -6 dB beam width was 108 mum. There was reasonable agreement between the data from simulations and experiments. The SEAT can be used for imaging applications that require a wider transducer bandwidth, such as harmonic imaging, and can be manufactured using the same techniques used to produce transducers with multiple frequency bands.

Published in:

IEEE Transactions on Ultrasonics, Ferroelectrics, and Frequency Control  (Volume:56 ,  Issue: 2 )