Thin ceramic PZT dual- and multi-frequency pMUT arrays for photoacoustic imaging

Microsyst Nanoeng. 2022 Nov 17;8:122. doi: 10.1038/s41378-022-00449-0. eCollection 2022.


Miniaturized ultrasonic transducer arrays with multiple frequencies are key components in endoscopic photoacoustic imaging (PAI) systems to achieve high spatial resolution and large imaging depth for biomedical applications. In this article, we report on the development of ceramic thin-film PZT-based dual- and multi-frequency piezoelectric micromachined ultrasonic transducer (pMUT) arrays and the demonstration of their PAI applications. With chips sized 3.5 mm in length or 10 mm in diameter, square and ring-shaped pMUT arrays incorporating as many as 2520 pMUT elements and multiple frequencies ranging from 1 MHz to 8 MHz were developed for endoscopic PAI applications. Thin ceramic PZT with a thickness of 9 μm was obtained by wafer bonding and chemical mechanical polishing (CMP) techniques and employed as the piezoelectric layer of the pMUT arrays, whose piezoelectric constant d 31 was measured to be as high as 140 pm/V. Benefiting from this high piezoelectric constant, the fabricated pMUT arrays exhibited high electromechanical coupling coefficients and large vibration displacements. In addition to electrical, mechanical, and acoustic characterization, PAI experiments with pencil leads embedded into an agar phantom were conducted with the fabricated dual- and multi-frequency pMUT arrays. Photoacoustic signals were successfully detected by pMUT elements with different frequencies and used to reconstruct single and fused photoacoustic images, which clearly demonstrated the advantages of using dual- and multi-frequency pMUT arrays to provide comprehensive photoacoustic images with high spatial resolution and large signal-to-noise ratio simultaneously.

PMID:36407887 | PMC:PMC9668999 | DOI:10.1038/s41378-022-00449-0


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