Forward-viewing CMUT arrays for medical Imaging
Ergun, Arif Şanlı
Khuri-Yakub, Butrus T.
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This paper reports the design and testing of forward-viewing annular arrays fabricated using capacitive micromachined ultrasonic transducer (CMUT) technology. Recent research studies have shown that CMUTs have broad frequency bandwidth and high-transduction efficiency. One- and two-dimensional CMUT arrays of various sizes already have been fabricated, and their viability for medical imaging applications has been demonstrated. We fabricated 64-element, forward-viewing annular arrays using the standard CMUT fabrication process and carried out experiments to measure the operating frequency, bandwidth, and transmit/receive efficiency of the array elements. The annular array elements, designed for imaging applications in the 20 MHz range, had a resonance frequency of 13.5 MHz in air. The immersion pulse-echo data collected from a plane reflector showed that the devices operate in the 5-26 MHz range with a fractional bandwidth of 135%. The output pressure at the surface of the transducer was measured to be 24 kPa/V. These values translate into a dynamic range of 131.5 dB for I-V excitation in 1-Hz bandwidth with a commercial low noise receiving circuitry. The designed, forward-viewing annular CMUT array is suitable for mounting on the front surface of a cylindrical catheter probe and can provide Doppler information for measurement of blood flow and guiding information for navigation through blood vessels in intravascular ultrasound imaging.