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Characterization of an improved polyimide-etalon all-optical transducer for high-resolution ultrasound imaging

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2 Author(s)
Sheaff, C. ; Dept. of Biomed. Eng., Univ. of Minnesota-Twin Cities, Minneapolis, MN, USA ; Ashkenazi, S.

All-optical transduction of ultrasound provides high-frequency (>20 MHz) operation in the absence of electrical noise and distortion that hinders small-scale piezoelectric probes. Although fabrication of an all-optical 2-D array suitable for in vivo imaging remains incomplete, a thin-film structure integrating a polyimide film with a Fabry-Perot (etalon) receiver has been shown to be a viable candidate. We present here incremental improvements in the performance of a polyimide-etalon transducer and demonstrate imaging with an array configuration alternative to our previous study. We first show that a gain of more than 30% in output pressure is achieved when increasing the thickness of a bare polyimide film from 3 to 15 μm. This motivated the choice of polyimide as the etalon medium-a configuration made possible by utilizing a dielectric mirror that transmits wavelengths used for generation of ultrasound (ultraviolet) and reflects those for detection (near infrared). The increased reflectivity of the dielectric mirror resulted in a 2-fold decrease in noise-equivalent pressure to 3.3 kPa over a bandwidth of 47.5 MHz (0.48 Pa/ Hz). The transmit/receive center frequency increased from 37 to 49 MHz with a -6-dB bandwidth of 126%, and a maximum pressure of 213 kPa was produced using a 43 μm UV spot. A 2 x 2 mm synthetic array of 957 transmitters centered on a 1 x 1 mm synthetic array of four receivers was used to image two wire targets. Offline reconstruction indicated lateral resolutions of 70 and 114 μm at depths of 2.4 and 5.8 mm, respectively, with an average axial resolution of 35 μm. Finally, we explore the challenges of imaging in this configuration, which provides the best opportunity for real-time performance pending further development.

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Ultrasonics, Ferroelectrics, and Frequency Control, IEEE Transactions on  (Volume:61 ,  Issue: 7 )