Acoustic Wave Type Generator Or Receiver Patents (Class 310/334)
  • Publication number: 20130069484
    Abstract: The present application provides a multilayer lateral mode coupling method for phased array construction and transducer devices built accordingly. This disclosure describes and demonstrates that the electrical impedance of a phased array can be substantially reduced and readily controlled to be close to the source impedance. The fabrication process is relatively simple and inexpensive. In addition, the elements are robust for use in 1.5, 2, 3 or other dimensional configurations, over an extended period of operation, without structural failure, and providing a high power output required for imaging and/or medical therapy applications.
    Type: Application
    Filed: September 20, 2012
    Publication date: March 21, 2013
    Applicant: Sunnybrook Health Sciences Centre
    Inventor: Sunnybrook Health Sciences Centre
  • Publication number: 20130066209
    Abstract: An ultrasonic probe includes a piezoelectric element including a support body, a lower electrode layer, first and second piezoelectric layers, and an upper electrode layer. The support body has an opening section and a displacement section covering the opening section on one side of the support body. The lower electrode layer is disposed on the one side of the support body and continuously extending from an inside to an outside of the opening section when viewed in a plan view along a thickness direction of the support body. The first piezoelectric layer is disposed on the lower electrode layer and positioned inside of the opening section when viewed in the plan view. The upper electrode layer is disposed on the first piezoelectric layer. The second piezoelectric layer is disposed on the lower electrode layer and positioned outside of the opening section when viewed in the plan view.
    Type: Application
    Filed: September 4, 2012
    Publication date: March 14, 2013
    Applicant: SEIKO EPSON CORPORATION
    Inventor: Hiroshi MATSUDA
  • Publication number: 20130062998
    Abstract: Matching layers improve the performance of ultrasonic transducers. Such layers have traditionally required significant effort and expense to be added to ultrasonic transducers. The present invention discloses a method of producing ultrasonic transducers with a matching layer, specifically for ultrasonic transducers utilizing piezopolymer transducer materials. Rather than the conventional method of forming the piezopolymer on a substrate and then attaching a matching layer through which the transducer emits its ultrasound energy, we teach depositing the piezopolymer on a substrate that also serves as a matching layer through which the ultrasound is emitted. Methods of how to select materials and modify their ultrasonic characteristics are also discussed.
    Type: Application
    Filed: August 24, 2012
    Publication date: March 14, 2013
    Applicant: DVX, LLC
    Inventors: David Vilkomerson, Thomas A. Chilipka
  • Publication number: 20130064041
    Abstract: In an oscillator (100), a plurality of piezoelectric vibrators (111 to 113) supported by vibrator support mechanisms (120) individually output highly directional sound waves. The plurality of piezoelectric vibrators (111 to 113) is formed by dividing a laminated body of an elastic member and a piezoelectric substance by the vibrator support mechanisms (120). Since it is not necessary to arrange the plurality of piezoelectric vibrators in a matrix, the entirety of a device can be small-sized. A sound deflection unit that deflects a sound wave which is output by at least one of the piezoelectric vibrators may be further included.
    Type: Application
    Filed: July 14, 2011
    Publication date: March 14, 2013
    Applicant: NEC CORPORATION
    Inventors: Yasuharu Onishi, Jun Kuroda, Motoyoshi Komoda, Yuichiro Kishinami, Yukio Murata, Shigeo Satou, Tatsuya Uchikawa
  • Publication number: 20130056671
    Abstract: Provided is a piezoelectric ceramics that can achieve both high piezoelectric performance and a high Curie temperature. Also provided are a piezoelectric element, a liquid discharge head, an ultrasonic motor, and a dust removing device, which use the piezoelectric ceramics. The piezoelectric ceramics include a perovskite-type metal oxide expressed by a general formula (1): xBaTiO3-yBiFeO3-zBi(M0.5Ti0.5)O3, where M represents at least one type of element selected from the group consisting of Mg and Ni, x satisfies 0.40?x?0.80, y satisfies O?y?0.30, z satisfies 0.05?z?0.60, and x+y+z=1 is satisfied, and are oriented in a (111) plane in a pseudocubic expression.
    Type: Application
    Filed: August 30, 2012
    Publication date: March 7, 2013
    Applicants: UNIVERSITY OF YAMANASHI, CANON KABUSHIKI KAISHA
    Inventors: Makoto Kubota, Takayuki Watanabe, Hisato Yabuta, Jumpei Hayashi, Nobuhiro Kumada, Satoshi Wada
  • Patent number: 8390174
    Abstract: Described herein are electrical connections to acoustic elements, e.g., piezoelectric elements. In an exemplary embodiment, a transducer comprises an acoustic element, a passive layer attached to the acoustic element, and a conductive post embedded in the passive layer to provide a direct low resistance electrical connection to the acoustic element. In one embodiment, the conductive post has an exposed side surface allowing electrical connections to be made from the side of the transducer. In another embodiment, the conductive post has an exposed bottom surface allowing electrical connections to be made from the bottom of the transducer. In another embodiment, the transducer comprises an extension substrate adjacent to the acoustic element for protecting the acoustic element from thermal stress when a connection is made to the transducer at high temperatures. In one embodiment, a circuit is integrated on the extension substrate to process signals to or from the acoustic element.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: December 27, 2007
    Date of Patent: March 5, 2013
    Assignee: Boston Scientific SciMed, Inc.
    Inventor: Alain Sadaka
  • Publication number: 20130043768
    Abstract: An ultrasonic transducer array and method of making an ultrasonic transducer array. The array comprising a plurality of individual array elements made from a piezoelectric composite which is made from a plurality of individual piezoelectric segments; a passive filler between the piezoelectric segments; and, one or more electrodes for driving the array elements formed from the piezoelectric segments; wherein the spatial pattern of the piezoelectric segments of the piezoelectric composite defines one or more non-linear, irregular channels which separate the piezoelectric segments thereby minimising interaction between the individual array elements and minimising spurious modes in the ultrasound transducer array.
    Type: Application
    Filed: September 21, 2010
    Publication date: February 21, 2013
    Applicants: UNIVERSITY OF BIRMINGHAM, UNIVERSITY OF DUNDEE
    Inventors: Sandy Cochran, Christine Demore, Luis Garcia-Gancedo, Timothy Button, Jeff Bamber
  • Publication number: 20130043769
    Abstract: An oscillator includes a piezoelectric vibrator (10), a vibrating member (20) which is larger than the piezoelectric vibrator (10) when seen in a plan view and restrains one surface of the piezoelectric vibrator (10), a vibrating member (25) which is larger than the piezoelectric vibrator (10) when seen in a plan view and restrains the other surface of the piezoelectric vibrator (10), an elastic member (30) which supports an edge of the surface of the vibrating member (20), which restrains the piezoelectric vibrator (10), and supports an edge of the surface of the vibrating member (25), which restrains the piezoelectric vibrator (10), and a supporting member (35) which is located around the elastic member (30) and supports the elastic member (30).
    Type: Application
    Filed: June 17, 2011
    Publication date: February 21, 2013
    Applicant: NEC CORPORATION
    Inventors: Yasuharu Onishi, Jun Kuroda, Motoyoshi Komoda, Yuichiro Kishinami, Yukio Murata, Shigeo Satou, Tatsuya Uchikawa
  • Patent number: 8378557
    Abstract: Ultrasound transducers and methods of making ultrasound transducers with improved thermal characteristics are provided. An ultrasound transducer includes a piezoelectric element defining a front side and a back side. The ultrasound transducer includes a lens connected to the front side of the piezoelectric element, a heat sink connected to the back side of the piezoelectric element, and a backside matching layer disposed between the piezoelectric element and the heat sink. The backside matching layer is thermally connected to the piezoelectric element and the heat sink, and the backside matching layer is configured to conduct heat from the piezoelectric element to the heat sink.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: September 16, 2011
    Date of Patent: February 19, 2013
    Assignee: General Electric Company
    Inventors: Alan C. Tai, Hiroshi Isono
  • Patent number: 8354775
    Abstract: An ultrasonic transducer includes a case, a reflective portion, and a piezoelectric body. The case has a substantially cylindrical shape including one closed end in the center axis direction that defines a top. The piezoelectric body is disposed on the inner surface of the top of the case. The reflective portion is arranged to oppose and be spaced apart from the piezoelectric body. The distance between the piezoelectric body and the reflective portion is greater than the maximum displacement of the piezoelectric body and is substantially an odd number multiple of a ¼ wavelength of sound waves or less than or equal to the ¼ wavelength.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: September 24, 2010
    Date of Patent: January 15, 2013
    Assignee: Murata Manufacturing Co., Ltd.
    Inventors: Junichi Nishie, Takaaki Asada, Mio Furuya, Takayuki Shimamoto, Kazuhiro Ebara
  • Patent number: 8353096
    Abstract: The present invention provides a method of packaging surface microfabricated transducers such that electrical connections, protection, and relevant environmental exposure are realized prior to their separation into discrete components. The packaging method also isolates elements of array transducers. Post processing of wafers consisting of transducers only on the top few microns of the wafer surface can be used to create a wafer scale packaging solution. By spinning or otherwise depositing polymeric and metallic thin and thick films, and by lithographically defining apertures and patterns on such films, transducers can be fully packaged prior to the final dicing steps that would separate the packaged transducers from each other. In the case of microfabricated ultrasonic transducers, such packaging layers can also enable flexible transducers and eliminate or curtail the acoustic cross-coupling that can occur between array elements.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: April 8, 2008
    Date of Patent: January 15, 2013
    Assignee: Siemens Medical Solutions USA, Inc.
    Inventor: Igal Ladabaum
  • Publication number: 20130008132
    Abstract: A sonotrode comprising: a head defining a sealing surface elongated along a first direction; and a first and a second drive unit distinct from one another, each comprising at least one piezo-electric element; wherein first and second drive unit may be electrically fed by an unique generator to cause oscillation of head; the height of head measured along a second direction transversal to sealing surface being substantially equal to half the wavelength of wave oscillating in second direction; at least one slot extending through head transversally to first and second direction; a finite number of nodal points at which amplitude of oscillation of head is substantially equal to zero; and a plane on which at least some nodal points lie and which divides head in a first portion and second portion; the slot extends completely within one only between first and second portion and at a certain distance by plane.
    Type: Application
    Filed: March 15, 2011
    Publication date: January 10, 2013
    Inventors: Ulrich Vögler, Francesco Giordano, Sergio Mancin, Antonio Melandri, Magnus Råbe
  • Patent number: 8344586
    Abstract: An illustrative embodiment of a temperature-activated voltage generator includes a generator housing having a housing interior; a flexible, temperature-sensitive bimetallic element disposed in the housing interior; and a piezoelectric element carried by the generator housing. The bimetallic element is positional between a first position wherein the bimetallic element disengages the piezoelectric element and a second position wherein the bimetallic element engages the piezoelectric element. Electrical voltage output leads are electrically connected to the piezoelectric element. A voltage-generating method is also disclosed.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: June 21, 2012
    Date of Patent: January 1, 2013
    Assignee: The Boeing Company
    Inventors: Bradley J. Mitchell, Gerardo Pena, Matthew C. Malkin
  • Patent number: 8343289
    Abstract: In one aspect, matching layers for an ultrasonic transducer stack having a matching layer comprising a matrix material loaded with a plurality of micron-sized and nano-sized particles. In another aspect, the matrix material is loaded with a plurality of heavy and light particles. In another aspect, an ultrasound transducer stack comprises a piezoelectric layer and at least one matching layer. In one aspect, the matching layer comprises a composite material comprising a matrix material loaded with a plurality of micron-sized and nano-sized particles. In a further aspect, the composite material can also comprise a matrix material loaded with a plurality of heavy and light particles. In a further aspect, a matching layer can also comprise cyanoacrylate.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: July 6, 2010
    Date of Patent: January 1, 2013
    Assignee: VisualSonics Inc.
    Inventors: N. Chris Chaggares, James Mehi, Desmond Hirson
  • Patent number: 8344596
    Abstract: In one general aspect, various embodiments are directed to an ultrasonic surgical instrument that comprises a transducer configured to produce vibrations along a longitudinal axis at a predetermined frequency. In various embodiments, an ultrasonic blade extends along the longitudinal axis and is coupled to the transducer. In various embodiments, the ultrasonic blade includes a body having a proximal end and a distal end, wherein the distal end is movable relative to the longitudinal axis by the vibrations produced by the transducer.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: June 24, 2009
    Date of Patent: January 1, 2013
    Assignee: Ethicon Endo-Surgery, Inc.
    Inventors: Scott A. Nield, Shan Wan, Ashvani K. Madan
  • Patent number: 8344595
    Abstract: An ultrasonic transducer is configured to transmit and receive ultrasonic waves. The ultrasonic transducer includes a vibrating member and a piezoelectric member coupled to the vibrating member. The piezoelectric member includes a first piezoelectric part configured and arranged to be deformed by applied voltage to vibrate the vibrating member or configured and arranged to be deformed by vibration of the vibrating member to produce a potential difference, and a second piezoelectric part configured and arranged to be deformed by applied voltage to statically deflect the vibrating member.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: December 28, 2011
    Date of Patent: January 1, 2013
    Assignee: Seiko Epson Corporation
    Inventors: Tsukasa Funasaka, Tomoaki Nakamura
  • Patent number: 8334637
    Abstract: A physical shield placed on the face of a high intensity focused ultrasound transducer for medical applications is described. The shield may be shaped or angled to match a particular pattern of mechanical or acoustic energy that may damage the transducer during operation. The shield may be ablative, replaceable or modified as needed. Methods of manufacturing a transducer with a shield are also disclosed.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: December 11, 2009
    Date of Patent: December 18, 2012
    Assignee: LipoSonix, Inc.
    Inventors: Jeffrey R. Crunkilton, Charles S. Desilets, Greg P. Darlington, Jens U. Quistgaard
  • Patent number: 8330333
    Abstract: An ultrasound transducer that includes a backing layer, an insulating layer disposed on top of the backing layer, and a plurality of conductive traces disposed on top of the insulating layer are disclosed. Each of the conductive traces has an upper face. A plurality of transducer elements, each having (a) a core of piezoelectric material and (b) a conductive coating disposed beneath the core, are bonded directly to the upper face of a respective one of the plurality of conductive traces. Methods for fabricating ultrasound transducers are also disclosed.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: July 28, 2010
    Date of Patent: December 11, 2012
    Assignee: Imacor Inc.
    Inventors: Edward Paul Harhen, Mitchell Thompson
  • Patent number: 8330332
    Abstract: An ultrasound transducer (10) comprises an application specific integrated circuit (ASIC) (14), an array of acoustic elements (20), and a pitch independent interposer (12). The ASIC (14) includes a plurality of contact pads (16) on a surface of the ASIC that are separated from adjacent ones thereof by a first pitch. The acoustic elements (22) of the array (20) are separated from adjacent ones thereof by a second pitch. In addition, the pitch independent interposer (12) features a plurality of conductive elements (26) separated from adjacent ones thereof by a third pitch different from both the first pitch and the second pitch.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: July 20, 2007
    Date of Patent: December 11, 2012
    Assignee: Koninklijke Philips Electronics N.V.
    Inventors: Johannes W. Weekamp, Samuel R. Peters, Richard E. Davidsen, Wojtek Sudol
  • Patent number: 8324787
    Abstract: An electroacoustic transducer assembly and probe for emitting and receiving acoustic radiation beams. The transducer assembly comprising a plurality of transducer elements, each one composed of an electroacoustic element, arranged side by side and spaced apart along a row having a first end. Starting from transducer element proximate to the first end, adjacent transducer elements are constructed and arranged create an electroacoustic pair. A first element of the electroacoustic pair is constructed and arranged to only transmit acoustic pulses and a second element of the electroacoustic pair is constructed and arranged to only receive acoustic pulses. Each electroacoustic pair share a common connection line which branches off into a transmit branch connected to the first element and a receive branch connected to the second element.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: April 12, 2010
    Date of Patent: December 4, 2012
    Assignee: Esaote, S.p.A.
    Inventor: Marino Cerofolini
  • Patent number: 8319398
    Abstract: Apparatus and methods to form high efficiency and uniform Fresnel lens arrays for ultrasonic liquid manipulation are provided. An ultrasonic transducer array may be fabricated by forming top and bottom electrodes on top and bottom surfaces of a sensor plate. The ultrasonic transducer array may generate ultrasonic energy to manipulate one or more samples. Each of the top and bottom electrodes may be coupled to a radio frequency source and arranged to form one of a solid shape or a pattern. Additional apparatus and methods are disclosed.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: April 3, 2009
    Date of Patent: November 27, 2012
    Assignee: Microsonic Systems Inc.
    Inventors: Vibhu Vivek, Babur Hadimioglu, Ratnakar Dadi
  • Patent number: 8319399
    Abstract: A technology is disclosed for actualizing an ultrasound probe that can obtain a high-resolution diagnostic image and is highly reliable. In the technology, a piezoelectric element has a predetermined thickness, a ground electrode is formed on one surface in a thickness direction, and a signal electrode is formed on the other surface. When an acoustic matching layer is laminated on a ground electrode formation surface of the piezoelectric element, the acoustic matching layer is configured by a composite material made of a plurality of materials including at least a conductive member. The conductive member has portions penetrating in a layer thickness direction at a plurality of sections on the one electrode formation surface of the piezoelectric element.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: November 2, 2007
    Date of Patent: November 27, 2012
    Assignee: Panasonic Corporation
    Inventor: Koetsu Saito
  • Patent number: 8319396
    Abstract: Piezo-electric actuator 50 of the present invention comprises piezo-electric element 10 for performing expansion/contraction motions in accordance with an electric field condition, seat 20 to which piezo-electric element 10 is adhered on at least one surface thereof, and supporting member 45 for supporting piezo-electric element 10 and seat 20, wherein piezo-electric element 10 and seat 20 vibrate up and down in accordance with the expansion/contraction motions of piezo-electric element 10. Seat 20 is connected to supporting member 45 through vibration 30 film which is less rigid than this seat 20.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: December 26, 2006
    Date of Patent: November 27, 2012
    Assignee: NEC Corporation
    Inventors: Yasuharu Onishi, Yasuhiro Sasaki, Masatake Takahashi, Ukyo Mori, Yukio Murata
  • Patent number: 8319400
    Abstract: In one general aspect, various embodiments are directed to an ultrasonic surgical instrument that comprises a transducer configured to produce vibrations along a longitudinal axis at a predetermined frequency. In various embodiments, an ultrasonic blade extends along the longitudinal axis and is coupled to the transducer. In various embodiments, the ultrasonic blade includes a body having a proximal end and a distal end, wherein the distal end is movable relative to the longitudinal axis by the vibrations produced by the transducer.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: June 24, 2009
    Date of Patent: November 27, 2012
    Assignee: Ethicon Endo-Surgery, Inc.
    Inventors: Kevin L. Houser, Foster B. Stulen, Scott A. Nield, Shan Wan
  • Publication number: 20120293045
    Abstract: Provided is an ultrasonic probe, which uses a composite piezo-electric element, which includes a piezo-electric wafer made of piezo-electric material and having a lattice shape, and a polymer filled between the lattices of the piezo-electric wafer. The ultrasonic probe has a high power and a wide band width simultaneously. In addition, since the ultrasonic probe further includes a heat exhaust unit for exhausting the heat generated at the ultrasonic probe to the outside, the temperature of an acoustic lens which contacts patients may be lowered.
    Type: Application
    Filed: April 22, 2011
    Publication date: November 22, 2012
    Applicants: HUMANSCAN CO., LTD., GE HEALTHCARE CO., LTD.
    Inventors: Jeong Seok Kim, Sung Min Rhim, Ho Jung, Duck Hwan Oh
  • Patent number: 8310133
    Abstract: A transducer with triangular cross-sectional shaped pillars is described for suppressing lateral modes within a composite, and a method for producing the same. According to one aspect of the present application, a plurality of triangular cross-sectional shaped pillars extends outwardly from a substrate and form an array of pillars. The resulting array of pillars is configured to suppress the lateral modes of the transducer at higher operating frequencies, such as, at or above 15 MHz, at or above 20 MHz, or at or above 30 MHz.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: December 8, 2010
    Date of Patent: November 13, 2012
    Assignee: VisualSonics Inc.
    Inventors: Jeremy Brown, F. Stuart Foster, Jianhua Yin
  • Patent number: 8310132
    Abstract: The invention relates to an insonification device (100) comprising a plurality of elementary ultrasonic transducers (110) each comprising at least one electro-acoustic element (111) and distributed on a chassis (120, 140) so that the electro-acoustic elements (111) are distributed on a so-called front surface (120?) of the device (100) intended to be placed facing the medium to be insonified. According to the invention, as each transducer (110) comprises a longitudinal body (113) made in a heat conducting material at the so-called front end of which the electro-acoustic element (111) is placed, the chassis (120, 140) comprises a sealed cooling chamber (130) placed behind the front surface (120?), crossed by the bodies of the transducers (113) and intended to be gone through by a coolant fluid flow.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: March 17, 2009
    Date of Patent: November 13, 2012
    Assignee: Super Sonic Imagine
    Inventors: Yves Martin, Mathieu Pernot
  • Patent number: 8310131
    Abstract: A megasonic processing apparatus and method has one or more piezoelectric transducers operating in thickness mode at fundamental resonant frequencies of at least 300 KHz. A generator powers the transducers with a variable-frequency driving signal that varies or sweeps throughout a predetermined sweep frequency range. The generator repeatedly vanes or sweeps the frequency of the driving signal through a sweep frequency range that includes the resonant frequencies of all the transducers.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: October 2, 2009
    Date of Patent: November 13, 2012
    Assignee: Megasonic Sweeping, Inc.
    Inventor: J. Michael Goodson
  • Publication number: 20120274182
    Abstract: An ultrasonic sensor includes a casing body and a piezoelectric element. The casing body has a base wall and a surrounding wall that cooperates with the base wall to define an interior space. The base wall has a top surface and a bottom surface. The top surface has a first section, a second section that extends between the first section and the surrounding wall, and a connecting section interconnecting the first and second sections. A distance between the second section and the bottom surface is larger than that between the first section and the bottom surface such that the connecting section and the first section cooperate to define a recess. The piezoelectric element is confined in the recess.
    Type: Application
    Filed: December 21, 2011
    Publication date: November 1, 2012
    Applicant: TUNG THIH ELECTRONIC CO., LTD.
    Inventors: Wen-Jong Wu, Chuin-Shan Chen, Chia-Yu Lin, Tzu-Chin Tsai, Shih-Feng Lee, Chun-Liang Kuo
  • Patent number: 8299685
    Abstract: A high power ultrasonic transducer includes a first ultrasonic transducer cell and at least one second ultrasonic transducer cell disposed on the first ultrasonic transducer cell. The at least one second ultrasonic transducer cell oscillates together with the first ultrasonic transducer cell.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: June 8, 2010
    Date of Patent: October 30, 2012
    Assignee: Samsung Electronics Co., Ltd.
    Inventors: Kyung-il Cho, Jong-keun Song, Dong-wook Kim
  • Patent number: 8283999
    Abstract: In accordance with a representative embodiment, a BAW resonator structure comprises: a first BAW resonator comprising a first lower electrode, a first upper electrode and a first piezoelectric layer disposed between the first lower electrode and the first upper electrode; and a second BAW resonator comprising a second lower electrode, a second upper electrode and a second piezoelectric layer disposed between the second lower electrode and the second upper electrode. The BAW resonator structure also comprises a single-material acoustic coupling layer disposed between the first and second BAW resonators. The single-material acoustic coupling layer comprises an inhomogeneous acoustic property across a thickness of the single-material acoustic coupling layer.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: February 23, 2010
    Date of Patent: October 9, 2012
    Assignee: Avago Technologies Wireless IP (Singapore) Pte. Ltd.
    Inventors: Lueder Elbrecht, Robert Thalhammer
  • Patent number: 8278799
    Abstract: A system and method for determining optimal values for the geometrical features of an ultrasonic transducer having one or more elements, the method including backprojection ray-tracing to determine the parameters required for apertures located on an ultrasonic probe surface. The ultrasonic probe design system includes an interface for inputting statement parameters, insonification requirements, and geometric constraints, with an engine responsive to the interface and configured to determine and provide an optimized transducer geometric design output.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: December 18, 2009
    Date of Patent: October 2, 2012
    Inventor: Vincent Lupien
  • Publication number: 20120235539
    Abstract: An ultrasonic piezoelectric transducer device includes a transducer array consisting of an array of vibrating elements, and a base to which the array of vibrating elements in the transducer array are attached. The base include integrated electrical interconnects for carrying driving signals and sensed signals between the vibrating elements and an external control circuit. The base can be an ASIC wafer that includes integrated circuitry for controlling the driving and processing the sensed signals. The interconnects and control circuits in the base fit substantially within an area below the array of multiple vibrating elements.
    Type: Application
    Filed: February 14, 2012
    Publication date: September 20, 2012
    Inventors: Andreas Bibl, Hung-Fai Stephen Law, Kevin Von Essen, Mats G. Ottosson
  • Patent number: 8269400
    Abstract: A technique that provides: an ultrasonic transducer in which the accurate arrangement of piezoelectric elements and the electric conductive state between electrode layers are reserved; and an ultrasonic diagnosis apparatus and an ultrasonic flaw inspection apparatus which use the ultrasonic transducer is provided. According to the technique, a plurality of piezoelectric elements 1, each being a stacked body in which predetermined numbers of piezoelectric layers 2 and electrode layers 3 are alternately stacked and although this has both sides that are substantially flat along a stacking direction, side electrodes 6 to connect the predetermined electrode layers 3 are placed outside both of the sides, are arranged in a direction orthogonal to the stacking direction, wherein an interval holding member 10 having a predetermined thickness is put between the sides on which the side electrodes 6 of the piezoelectric elements 1 adjacent to each other are formed.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: June 20, 2008
    Date of Patent: September 18, 2012
    Assignee: Panasonic Corporation
    Inventor: Toshiharu Sato
  • Patent number: 8264126
    Abstract: An impedance conversion layer useful for medical imaging ultrasonic transducers comprises a low impedance polymer layer and a high impedance metal layer. These layers are combined with corresponding thicknesses adapted to provide a function of converting from a specific high impedance to specific low impedance, wherein the polymer layer is at the high impedance side and the metal layer is at the low impedance side. The effective acoustic impedance of the polymer and metal layer combination may be adapted to configure an impedance converter in the same way as a quarter wavelength impedance converter, converting from low impedance to high impedance (metal to polymer) or from a high impedance to low impedance (polymer to metal). This structure may be used for front matching with the propagation medium and back matching with an absorber for ultrasonic transducers.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: July 14, 2010
    Date of Patent: September 11, 2012
    Assignee: Measurement Specialties, Inc.
    Inventors: Minoru Toda, Mitchell L. Thompson
  • Patent number: 8258678
    Abstract: An apparatus comprises a first transducer support configured to receive a first transducer in a first opening. A face of the first face of the transducer is located in a first plane. The apparatus also comprises a second transducer support configured to receive a second transducer in a second opening. A face of the second transducer is located in a second plane substantially parallel to the first plane.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: February 23, 2010
    Date of Patent: September 4, 2012
    Assignee: Avago Technologies Wireless IP (Singapore) Pte. Ltd.
    Inventors: Osvaldo Buccafusca, Steven Martin, Bruce Beaudry
  • Patent number: 8242665
    Abstract: An acoustic assembly that includes an integrated circuit package having an electrically conductive via configured to pass from an active portion of the integrated circuit package through a bottom portion of the integrated circuit package. The bottom portion is a bottom side of a substrate of the integrated circuit package. An acoustic element is positioned on the bottom side of the substrate and the via is arranged to electrically couple the active portion of the integrated circuit package to the acoustic element. In one embodiment, the acoustic element is an acoustic stack and the integrated circuit package is an ASIC. The assembly microbeamformed transducer.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: September 18, 2007
    Date of Patent: August 14, 2012
    Assignee: Koninklijke Philips Electronics N.V.
    Inventors: Andrew L. Robinson, Richard E. Davidsen
  • Patent number: 8237332
    Abstract: Provided are a piezoelectric acoustic transducer and a method of fabricating the same. In the piezoelectric acoustic transducer, a piezoelectric portion is formed in a portion of a diaphragm, and a deformation layer is formed in another portion of the diaphragm. Deformation of the piezoelectric portion is transferred to the deformation layer, or deformation of the deformation layer is transferred to the piezoelectric layer so that the deformation layer vibrates with the piezoelectric layer.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: June 23, 2009
    Date of Patent: August 7, 2012
    Assignee: Samsung Electronics Co., Ltd.
    Inventors: Dong-kyun Kim, Seok-whan Chung, Byung-gil Jeong
  • Patent number: 8237336
    Abstract: A technology is disclosed which provides an array scanning type ultrasound probe capable of preventing a diminution of ultrasound of a piezoelectric device at the time of transmission and at the time of reception due to its damage and thereby reducing a sensitivity deterioration of a diagnostic image. According to the technology, included are an electroacoustic conversion unit formed by arranging multiple piezoelectric devices and multiple acoustic matching layers in a predetermined direction, each of the multiple piezoelectric devices being an electroacoustic conversion device, the multiple acoustic matching layers being respectively stacked on the multiple piezoelectric devices; and a signal flexible board transferring electric signals to be transmitted to and received from the multiple piezoelectric devices.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: November 23, 2011
    Date of Patent: August 7, 2012
    Assignee: Panasonic Corporation
    Inventors: Hirokazu Fukase, Kouji Ooura
  • Patent number: 8237335
    Abstract: A system and method for removing unwanted heat generated by a piezoelectric element of an ultrasound transducer. Some implementations have high thermal conductivity (HTC) material placed adjacent to the piezoelectric element. The HTC material can be thermally coupled to one or more heat sinks. Use of HTC material in conjunction with these piezoelectric element surfaces is managed to avoid degradation of propagating acoustic energy. Use of the HTC material in conjunction with heat sinks allows for creation of thermal paths away from the piezoelectric element. Active cooling of the heat sinks with water or air can further draw heat from the piezoelectric element. Further implementations form a composite matrix of thermally conductive material or interleave thermally conductive layers with piezoelectric material.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: July 20, 2006
    Date of Patent: August 7, 2012
    Assignee: UST, Inc.
    Inventors: Perry Kaminski, Yu-Chi Chu
  • Patent number: 8232705
    Abstract: Ultrasound transducers and methods of making ultrasound transducers with improved thermal characteristics are provided. An ultrasound transducer can include: a backing, a piezoelectric element attached to the backing, a first matching layer attached to the piezoelectric element, and a second matching layer attached to the first matching layer. The first matching layer can comprise metal and can have a thermal conductivity of about greater than 30 W/mK. The second matching layer can have a thermal conductivity of about 0.5-300 W/mK. The first matching layer can have an acoustic impedance of about 10-20 MRayl, and the second matching layer can have a lower acoustic impedance. The first matching layer can be thicker than the second matching layer. The ultrasound transducer can include a lens and a matching layer disposed between the piezoelectric element and the lens can be configured to conduct heat from the piezoelectric element to the backing.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: July 9, 2010
    Date of Patent: July 31, 2012
    Assignee: General Electric Company
    Inventor: Alan Chi-Chung Tai
  • Publication number: 20120187801
    Abstract: The present invention provides a piezoelectric sensor that can reduce spurious vibration of a transducer. The piezoelectric sensor includes a transducer which has a piezoelectric body and a vibration plate and which transmits/receives ultrasound, and a mount supporting the transducer near nodes of mechanical vibration generated to the transducer. The mount includes ribs that contact the transducer near the nodes of vibration in a point by point, line by line or partially plane by plane contact manner to support the transducer, and retract portions which are provided side by side to respective ribs near the nodes of vibration and which are distant from the transducer so as not to support the transducer.
    Type: Application
    Filed: January 20, 2012
    Publication date: July 26, 2012
    Inventors: Yasuhide Matsuo, Daisuke Shimizu
  • Patent number: 8229141
    Abstract: A transducer array assembly includes a support structure having a plurality of predetermined openings therein for accommodating transducer components. Flexible circuits are embedded in the support structure. Each flexible circuit has first ends being positioned in the support structure predetermined openings. Terminal blocks are joined to the second ends. Transducer elements are positioned in the support structure predetermined openings and placed in electrical communication with the flexible circuit first ends. A polymer material is provided surrounding the transducer elements, said support structure, and said flexible circuit first ends. There is also provided a method for manufacturing the transducer array.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: July 27, 2010
    Date of Patent: July 24, 2012
    Assignee: The United States of America as represented by the Secretary of the Navy
    Inventor: Kim C. Benjamin
  • Patent number: 8225501
    Abstract: The present invention relates to a method for making a thermoacoustic device. The method includes the following steps. A substrate with a surface is provided. A plurality of microspaces is formed on the surface of the substrate. A sacrifice layer is fabricated to fill the microspaces. A metal film is deposited on the sacrifice layer, and the sacrifice layer is removed. A signal input device is provided to electrically connect with the metal film.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: April 7, 2010
    Date of Patent: July 24, 2012
    Assignees: Tsinghua University, Hon Hai Precision Industry Co., Ltd.
    Inventors: Liang Liu, Zhuo Chen, Kai Liu, Chen Feng, Kai-Li Jiang, Shou-Shan Fan
  • Patent number: 8222793
    Abstract: An acoustic power generator and a method for manufacturing the same. The method comprises steps of: measuring a sonic frequency of a sound wave; determining a phononic crystal and a resonant cavity according to the measured sonic frequency; and determining at least a piezoelectric material according to the measured sonic frequency and installing the piezoelectric material inside the resonant cavity.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: April 7, 2010
    Date of Patent: July 17, 2012
    Assignees: Industrial Technology Research Institute, National Cheng Kung University
    Inventors: Liang-Yu Wu, Chia-Ming Liu, Lien-Wen Chen
  • Publication number: 20120176002
    Abstract: An acoustic transducer includes a first driving unit group including at least one electrode and a second driving unit group including at least one electrode. The first driving unit group is driven at a first phase, and the second driving unit group is driven at a second phase that is different from the first phase.
    Type: Application
    Filed: September 16, 2011
    Publication date: July 12, 2012
    Applicant: SAMSUNG ELECTRONICS CO., LTD.
    Inventors: Dong-kyun KIM, Seok-whan CHUNG, Byung-gil JEONG
  • Publication number: 20120163126
    Abstract: A transducer 1b comprising a vibrator body 2b for generating and/or receiving acoustic or ultrasonic waves, acoustically coupled to a second part 4 for generating and/or receiving acoustic or ultrasonic waves and, a matching layer 5 coupled to said vibrator body 2 so as, in use, to acoustically match the vibrator body 2b to a medium 6 contacting said matching layer 5.
    Type: Application
    Filed: December 21, 2011
    Publication date: June 28, 2012
    Inventors: Ewan Fraser Campbell, Tony John Beswick, Peter Caplen
  • Patent number: 8207652
    Abstract: A system for improving the acoustic performance of an ultrasound transducer by reducing artifacts within the acoustic spectrum is disclosed. The system includes an acoustic layer having an array of acoustic elements, a dematching layer coupled to the acoustic layer and having an acoustic impedance greater than an acoustic impedance of the acoustic layer, and an interposer layer coupled to the dematching layer and comprising a substrate and a plurality of conductive element. The interposer layer is formed to have an acoustic impedance lower than the acoustic impedance of the dematching layer. The ultrasound transducer also includes an integrated circuit coupled to the interposer layer and electrically connected to the array of acoustic elements through the dematching layer and the interposer layer.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: June 16, 2009
    Date of Patent: June 26, 2012
    Assignee: General Electric Company
    Inventors: Charles Edward Baumgartner, Jean-Francois Gelly, Lowell Smith, Charles G. Woychik, Frederic Lanteri, Stephen Edwardsen, Robert S. Lewandowski
  • Publication number: 20120153776
    Abstract: Ultrasound transducers and methods of forming ultrasound transducers are provided. An ultrasound transducer can include an acoustic stack including: a dematching layer and a flexible circuit including a nonconductive layer and a conductive material. The conductive material can include a plurality of substantially parallel strips. Adhesive can be provided between the dematching layer and the flexible circuit such that it contacts the strips of conductive material and portions of the nonconductive layer between the strips of conductive material. A plurality of substantially parallel cuts can extend through the dematching layer, through the adhesive and into the nonconductive layer without cutting into the strips of conductive material. The flexible circuit can include a ground area and the strips of conductive material and cuts can be located thereon. The adhesive can encapsulate each strip of conductive material on three surfaces, including a top surface and two sides of each strip.
    Type: Application
    Filed: December 16, 2010
    Publication date: June 21, 2012
    Applicant: GENERAL ELECTRIC COMPANY
    Inventors: Richard Guéron, Jean-Pierre Malacrida
  • Publication number: 20120146462
    Abstract: A lead-free piezoelectric ceramic composition includes a first crystal phase of alkali niobate/tantalate type perovskite oxide having piezoelectric properties and a second crystal phase of A—Ti—B—O composite oxide (where the element A is an alkali metal; the element B is at least one of Nb and Ta; and the contents of the element A, the element B and Ti are not zero). Examples of the second crystal phase are those represented by A1?xTi1?xB1+xO5, and x preferably satisfies 0?x?0.15.
    Type: Application
    Filed: January 14, 2011
    Publication date: June 14, 2012
    Applicant: NGK SPARK PLUG CO., LTD.
    Inventors: Masato Yamazaki, Takayuki Matsuoka, Katsuya Yamagiwa, Kazushige Ohbayashi