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JPS5590196

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DESCRIPTION JPS5590196
Description 1, title of the invention
Ultrasound probe
3. Detailed Description of the Invention The present invention relates to an ultrasonic probe
which has excellent properties as an ultrasonic probe and which is easy to manufacture.
Conventionally, a plurality of rectangular flat ultrasonic transducer elements 1 as shown in FIG. 1
are disposed on a backing material 2 as a representative ultrasonic probe such as an ultrasonic
diagnostic apparatus, v 'There is one so-called array type. Each ultrasonic vibration element 1 of
this type has electrodes 12a and Jjb of silver or the like formed on the upper and lower surfaces
of a rectangular flat plate 11 made of piezoelectric ceramic of a predetermined size, for example.
For example, it has a structure in which a sound-pole matching layer 13 is formed on the
electrode iza surface to make a sound exchange with the object. Thus, the vibration in the
thickness direction of the ultrasonic vibration element 1 # 'i with such a structure is driven as a
main vibration mode, and the ultrasonic wave is output centered on the direction indicated by the
arrow A. Here, the output intensity R of the sound wave indicates the frequency of the output
vibration wave and the output angle of the aFi ultrasonic wave. As is clear from this equation, the
output intensity RFi of the ultrasonic wave varies depending on the output angle 0, and the
intensity at, for example, θ = 90 'becomes half or less as compared with the intensity at O = 0 °
EndPage: 1. Therefore, when such an ultrasonic vibration element is used, the output angle 0 =
about 45 degrees is considered as the practical limit. Therefore, focusing on the fact that the
output angle θ of the ultrasonic wave is determined by θ = □, an attempt is made to bring the
output characteristic of the ultrasonic wave closer to non-directionality by reducing the element
width a as much as possible. The However, if the width a of the element is made smaller than a
certain level, the output intensity of the ultrasonic wave is reduced, and the signal-to-noise ratio
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(8N ratio) and sensitivity of the reflected ultrasonic wave are reduced. It was not favorable
because it caused a decrease in resolution. Then, as a means to solve such a problem, as shown in
FIGS. 2 (a) to 2 (C), a backing material 3 ° piezoelectric ceramic plate 11. Then, each connecting
surface of the acoustic matching layer 13 has a convex surface vh formed in a concave surface C
(Japanese Patent Application Laid-Open No. 11352-9990). According to this, since the ultrasonic
waves are output radially, each connecting surface of each member constituting the element
must be precisely polished while outputting the ultrasonic wave without making the star of the
element so small. There is a possibility that the change or deterioration of the vibration
characteristic may be caused by deforming the two-mic plate on piezoelectricity. Therefore, the
element structure and the process of manufacturing the element are complicated, which leads to
a decrease in the productivity as well as the performance as an ultrasonic probe is not suitable
for practical use.
The present invention has been made in consideration of the above circumstances, and the object
of the present invention is to make the output characteristics of ultrasonic waves close to neglect
without complicating the structure and manufacturing process of ultrasonic vibration elements.
An object of the present invention is to realize and provide an ultrasonic probe with high
performance, simple structure and high productivity. First, the principle of operation of the
ultrasonic probe according to the present invention will be described with reference to FIG. The
detailed description of the structure of the ultrasonic transducer shown in FIG. 3 (JR) will be
omitted by giving the same reference numerals to the same parts as in FIG. A different point from
the conventional element in the structure of the ultrasonic vibration element of the present
invention is that the convex lens body 3 is provided on the wave transmitting surface of the
ultrasonic wave, the rj 7 i above the acoustic matching layer 13. The lens body 3Fi substrate 11
is made of synthetic resin such as acrylic, epoxy or polystyrene having a propagation velocity
larger than the propagation velocity in the propagation medium (ultrasound propagation medium
such as water) of the ultrasonic wave generated. Thus, the lens body 3 is formed in a convex
shape whose surface shape is a part of a cylindrical surface in the width direction of the element.
Here, the acoustic matching layer 13 is a combination of the base 11 and the lens body 3
different from each other in the inherent 8-fold impedance inherent to each other. The reflection
and refraction of ultrasonic waves at the bonding surface between the base 11 and the lens body
3 are prevented. Thus, such an ultrasonic vibration element propagates an ultrasonic wave
generated by thickness vibration of the base 1 to the lens body 3 through the acoustic matching
layer 13 and radiates it from the surface of the lens body 3 to the outside. At this time, the
propagation velocity of the ultrasonic wave propagating in the lens body 3 is faster than the
ultrasonic wave propagation velocity in the ultrasonic wave propagation medium as described
above. このため。 The lens body 3 acts as an acoustic lens and radiates the output ultrasonic
waves as shown by the arrows in FIG. 3 (b) so as to spread in the width direction of the element.
Therefore, such an ultrasonic wave is strongly emitted not only in the vicinity of the thickness of
the element but also in the vicinity of the width of the element, and an ultrasonic vibration
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element with omnidirectional characteristics is realized by the acoustic lens of the crest and
convex shape. It will be On the other hand, even if a substance having a propagation velocity
slower than the ultrasonic wave propagation velocity in the ultrasonic wave propagation medium
is used as the lens body 3 and the surface of this material is formed into a concave shape
forming a part of a cylindrical surface, Figure (functions the same as the lens shown in al. A
diverging lens consisting of a lens and a concave lens is constructed, and the output
characteristic of the ultrasonic wave can be made omnidirectional. .
An embodiment of the present invention will be described below with reference to the drawings.
FIG. 4 is a schematic block diagram of an array type ultrasonic probe in the same embodiment.
Note that the same parts as those of the ultrasonic probe shown in FIG. 1 are denoted by the
same reference numerals and the detailed description thereof will be omitted. In FIG. 4, reference
numeral 3 denotes a convex lens body described above in the principle explanation, and the lens
body 3 is provided in each ultrasonic vibration element 1 as shown in the figure. Thus, such an
ultrasonic probe emits the ultrasonic waves generated by the respective ultrasonic vibration
elements relatively strongly not only in the vicinity of the thickness direction of the elements but
also in the arrangement direction of the respective elements. . That is, the ultrasonic wave output
characteristic as an ultrasonic probe can be made almost nondirectional. Therefore, when
performing so-called sector scan in which the ultrasonic beam scanning is performed by delaycontrolling the drive of each ultrasonic transducer individually by using such an ultrasonic probe,
the high angle direction (ultrasonic vibration (ultrasonic vibration) It is possible to transmit an
ultrasonic beam in the direction of arrangement of the elements, and thus perform wide-angle
sector scanning. As a result, a wide range of information can be obtained with high resolution. ま
た。 By setting the ultrasonic wave output-characteristics of the ultrasonic vibration elements at
almost every degree to 37 degrees, it is possible to simplify setting of delay information in each
element when performing electronic scanning such as sector scanning or electron focusing. it
can. Furthermore, the lens body 3 having the above-mentioned properties is converted to an
ultrasonic wave transmission surface without complicating the structure of the substrate 1-1
made of piezoelectric ceramic with 1% of the structure of each ultrasonic vibration element. By
providing only, the output characteristics of the ultrasonic wave can be made omnidirectional.
Therefore, it is possible to significantly simplify the processing of the extremely fine ultrasonic
transducer elements, and to improve the productivity such as to improve the manufacturing
yield. The present invention is not limited to the above embodiment. For example, in the
ultrasonic probe described in the above embodiment, it is not necessary to provide the lens body
3 independently for each ultrasonic vibration element, but as shown in FIG. 5 (a), each ultrasonic
vibration element The lens plate 1 in which a plurality of lens bodies are integrally formed in
accordance with the arrangement interval of $ is good. This not only makes it possible to obtain
exactly the same effect as in the above embodiment, but it is possible to considerably simplify the
manufacturing process of the ultrasonic probe and, in some cases, another integrally formed as
well. It is also possible to replace it with the lens plate.
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Further, as the lens body, one formed in a concave shape as shown in FIG. 5 (b) may be used. The
concave lens body 4 uses a material having a propagation velocity slower than the ultrasonic
velocity in the ultrasonic wave propagation medium. In the past, ultrasonic waves emitted
through such a lens body 4 spread in the arrangement direction of the ultrasonic vibration
elements as in the lens body 3 of the embodiment III. For this reason, an ultrasound probe with
omnidirectional output characteristics is realized. Furthermore, another piezoelectric conversion
element such as a quartz oscillator may be used as the material of the ultrasonic vibration
element, and gold, copper, platinum, etc. may be used as the electrode other than silver base, and
It does not matter if it is formed. Besides, the material, shape and size of the lens body, the
number of arranged ultrasonic vibration elements, and the like can be variously modified and
implemented without departing from the scope of the present invention. As described above in
detail, according to the present invention, a lens made of a material having different ultrasonic
wave propagation speeds and speeds in the ultrasonic wave propagation medium for the
ultrasonic wave transmission surface of each ultrasonic transducer of the array type ultrasonic
probe By providing the body separately, it is possible to bring the output characteristics of the
ultrasonic wave close to non-directional without making the structure and manufacturing process
of the ultrasonic vibration element double, and the performance is simple, the structure is simple
and the productivity is A high ultrasound probe can be realized and provided.
Fig. 3 is a schematic diagram of the simple explanatory element of the drawing, and Fig. 3 is a
diagram for explaining the operation principle of the present invention, and Fig. 3A is a
schematic configuration diagram of the Fi ultrasonic transducer. FIG. 4 is a schematic diagram
showing the ultrasonic output state of the element, FIG. 4 is a schematic diagram of an array type
ultrasonic probe in one embodiment of the present invention, and FIGS. 5 (a) and 5 (b) are FIG.
16 is a schematic cross-sectional view of the ultrasonic probe in another embodiment EndPage:
3. 1 ... Ultrasonic vibration 'motion element, 2 ... backing material. 3.4 · Lens body, 5 · Lens plate,
11 · · · Base body. 12a, 12b... Electrodes, 13. Applicants Attorney Attorney Takehiko Suzue 1 B 2
B 3 EndPage: 4
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