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DESCRIPTION JP2000165996

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DESCRIPTION JP2000165996
[0001]
BACKGROUND OF THE INVENTION 1. Field of the Invention The present invention relates to a
method and apparatus for forming a conductive pattern, an ultrasonic transducer and an
ultrasonic imaging apparatus, and more particularly, to a method and an apparatus for forming a
conductive pattern by sputtering. The present invention relates to an ultrasonic transducer
having an electrode formed by sputtering, and an ultrasonic imaging apparatus using such an
ultrasonic transducer.
[0002]
2. Description of the Related Art A 1-3 composite piezoelectric material is used, for example, as
an ultrasonic transducer for ultrasonic imaging. As schematically shown in FIG. 8, in the 1-3
composite piezoelectric material 200, a plurality of one-dimensional (bar-like) piezoelectric
materials 202 are embedded in a three-dimensional (plate-like) non-piezoelectric material 204. It
has become. The longitudinal direction of the piezoelectric material 202 is the thickness direction
of the non-piezoelectric material 204.
[0003]
For example, when the thickness of the non-piezoelectric material 204 is about several hundred
μm, the length of the piezoelectric material 202 is equal to the plate thickness, the thickness is
about several tens of μm, and the pitch is about twice the thickness Two-dimensionally
arranged.
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[0004]
As the piezoelectric material 202, for example, PZT (titanium (Ti) zirconate (Zr) oxide) ceramics
or the like is used, and as the non-piezoelectric material 204, for example, a polymer of resin is
used.
When such a composite piezoelectric material is used as an ultrasonic transducer for ultrasonic
imaging, an electrode is provided for each piezoelectric material 202 to form a two-dimensional
array.
[0005]
Electrode attachment is accomplished by depositing a conductive material onto the individual
piezoelectric material 202, such as by sputtering. In sputtering, a mask having holes
corresponding to the arrangement of the piezoelectric material 202 is used to apply the
conductive material by selective sputtering.
[0006]
Alternatively, after sputtering over the entire surface without using a mask, unnecessary portions
are removed by photo etching, or grooves are cut and dicing is performed to separate the
electrodes individually.
[0007]
In the case of forming an electrode by selective sputtering, there is a problem that a precise mask
having a large number of fine holes is required.
Moreover, when removing an unnecessary part after whole surface sputtering, although such a
mask was not required, there existed a problem that precise post-processing was needed.
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[0008]
The present invention has been made to solve the above-mentioned problems, and its object is to
provide a method and apparatus for forming a conductive pattern which makes it easy to remove
an unnecessary part after depositing a conductive material on the entire surface, and as such, an
electrode. And an ultrasonic imaging apparatus using such an ultrasonic transducer.
[0009]
SUMMARY OF THE INVENTION (1) A first invention for solving the above-mentioned problems is
a material which prevents adhesion of the conductive material in advance when the conductive
material is attached to the object to form a conductive pattern. Is attached to the object as a
pattern corresponding to a negative of the conductive pattern, the conductive material is
attached to the object to which the substance has been attached, and then the substance is
removed. It is a formation method.
[0010]
In the first invention, it is preferable that the conductive material be attached by sputtering in
order to ensure that the conductive material is attached.
In the first aspect of the invention, the substance that prevents the adhesion of the conductive
material is preferably an oily substance, from the viewpoint of easy removal thereof.
[0011]
(2) A second invention for solving the above-mentioned problems is a conductive pattern forming
device for depositing a conductive material on an object to form a conductive pattern, wherein
the conductive pattern is a substance for blocking the deposition of the conductive material.
Material attaching means attached to the object as a pattern corresponding to a negative image,
conductive material attaching means attaching the conductive material to the object attached
with the substance, and the object from the object after attaching the conductive material And a
substance removing unit for removing a substance.
[0012]
In the second invention, it is preferable that the substance attaching unit is a screen printing
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apparatus in that the negative of the conductive pattern is surely attached.
In the second aspect of the invention, the conductive material attaching unit is preferably a
sputtering apparatus in that the conductive material is reliably attached.
[0013]
In the second aspect of the invention, it is preferable that the substance removing means be an
ultrasonic cleaning device in order to reliably remove the anti-adhesion substance.
(3) A third invention for solving the above-mentioned problems is an ultrasonic transducer
having a plurality of piezoelectric elements arranged in an array, wherein the plurality of
piezoelectric elements have conductive patterns of electrodes as claimed in claim 1. It is an
ultrasonic transducer characterized by being formed by the method of a statement.
[0014]
(4) A fourth invention for solving the above-mentioned problems comprises an ultrasonic
transducer having a plurality of piezoelectric elements arranged in an array, and an image for
generating an image based on ultrasonic waves received by the ultrasonic transducer. An
ultrasonic imaging apparatus having generation means, wherein the plurality of piezoelectric
elements in the ultrasonic transducer are formed by the method according to claim 1 in the
conductive pattern of the electrode. Ultrasonic imaging apparatus.
[0015]
In the third invention or the fourth invention, it is preferable that the piezoelectric element is a
piezoelectric material in a 1-3 composite piezoelectric material in that a two-dimensional array
ultrasonic transducer is formed.
[0016]
(Operation) In the first to fourth inventions, a conductive pattern is formed by the conductive
material remaining on the object along with the removal of the substance forming the negative of
the conductive pattern.
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[0017]
BEST MODE FOR CARRYING OUT THE INVENTION Embodiments of the present invention will be
described in detail with reference to the drawings.
The present invention is not limited to the embodiment.
FIG. 1 shows a flow diagram of a process of forming an electrode pattern on a composite
piezoelectric material.
This step is an example of the embodiment of the method of the present invention. The process
includes an adhesion inhibitor application process 102, a conductive material adhesion process
104 and an adhesion inhibitor removal process 106.
[0018]
FIG. 2 shows a block diagram of an apparatus for forming an electrode pattern on a composite
piezoelectric material. This apparatus is an example of embodiment of the electroconductive
pattern formation apparatus of this invention. The apparatus comprises a screen printing device
302, a sputtering device 304 and an ultrasonic cleaning device 306.
[0019]
The composite piezoelectric material is an example of the embodiment of the object in the
present invention. The target is not limited to the composite piezoelectric material, and may be,
for example, a quartz oscillator, a printed circuit board, or another conductive pattern attachment
target. Hereinafter, although it demonstrates with the example of a composite piezoelectric
material, the same may be said of the case of another kind of target object.
[0020]
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The electrode pattern is an example of the embodiment of the conductive pattern in the present
invention. The conductive pattern is not limited to the electrode pattern, and may be a pattern of
an appropriate electrical circuit. In addition, although the example of an electrode pattern is
demonstrated below, the same may be said of the case of another conductive pattern.
Hereinafter, electrode formation with a composite piezoelectric material will be described along
the steps.
[0021]
(Adhesion inhibitor application process 102) In this process, a process is performed to apply an
adhesion inhibitor for preventing adhesion of the conductive material on the electrode formation
surface of the composite piezoelectric material. The anti-adhesion agent is an example of the
embodiment of the substance which prevents the adhesion of the conductive material in the
present invention. As an adhesion inhibiting agent, fats and oils, metal oxide paste (paste), etc.
are used, for example. Alternatively, an oil-based ink (ink) may be used. These are preferable in
the point which the below-mentioned removal is easy.
[0022]
Such an antiadhesive agent is printed (applied) by, for example, the screen printing apparatus
302 as a pattern corresponding to the negative of the electrode pattern. Thereby, as
schematically shown in FIG. 3, the surface of the 1-3 composite piezoelectric material 200 is
covered with the anti-adhesion agent 206 except for the end face of the piezoelectric material
202. The screen printing apparatus 302 is an example of the embodiment of the substance
adhesion means in the present invention. The screen printing apparatus 302 is preferable in that
it accurately prints a precise pattern by a simple means. In addition, a substance adhesion means
is not restricted to a screen printing apparatus, For example, an appropriate | suitable substance
coating apparatus, such as an inkjet printer (ink jet printer), may be used.
[0023]
(Conductive Material Deposition Step 104) In this step, the conductive material is sputtered by
the sputtering device 304 on the surface of the 1-3 composite piezoelectric material 200
subjected to the above screen printing. No mask is used for sputtering. Thereby, as schematically
shown in FIG. 4, the conductive material 208 adheres to the entire surface of the 1-3 composite
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piezoelectric material 200. The sputtering apparatus 304 is an example of the embodiment of the
conductive material adhesion means in the present invention. The sputtering apparatus is
preferable in terms of reliably adhering the conductive material. In addition, a conductive
material adhesion means is not restricted to a sputtering device, For example, you may use an
appropriate conductive material adhesion apparatus, such as a vacuum evaporation system. As
the conductive material 208, for example, gold, copper or other appropriate conductive material
is used. The conductive material 208 is an example of the embodiment of the conductive material
in the present invention.
[0024]
The sputtered conductive material 208 adheres to the end face of the piezoelectric material in
the portion where the end face of the piezoelectric material 202 is exposed. On the other hand,
the portion covered with the antiadhesive agent 206 is stacked on the antiadhesive agent 206
and does not adhere directly to the surface of the 1-3 composite piezoelectric material 200.
[0025]
(Adhesion inhibitor removal process 106) In this process, processing is performed to remove the
adhesion inhibitor 206 from the surface of the 1-3 composite piezoelectric material 200
subjected to the above-mentioned sputtering. For removing the anti-adhesion agent 206, for
example, an ultrasonic cleaning device 306 is used. The ultrasonic cleaning device 306 is an
example of the embodiment of the substance removing means in the present invention. The
ultrasonic cleaning device 306 is preferable in that the anti-adhesion agent 206 is reliably
removed by a simple means. The substance removing means is not limited to the ultrasonic
cleaning device, but may be, for example, a surface wiping device or a surface rubbing device
provided with an appropriate cleaning roller or the like.
[0026]
By ultrasonic cleaning, the anti-adhesion agent 206 printed on the surface of the 1-3 composite
piezoelectric material 200 peels off and removes the conductive material 208 accumulated
thereon. The same is true when the surface is wiped or abraded. On the other hand, the
conductive material 208 sputtered on the end face of the piezoelectric material 202 adheres
much more firmly than the printed antiblocking agent 206 and therefore does not peel off by
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ultrasonic cleaning or the like.
[0027]
For this reason, in the state where the ultrasonic cleaning is completed, for example, as shown in
FIG. 5, only the conductive material 208 attached to the end face of the piezoelectric material
202 remains. That is, the 1-3 composite piezoelectric material 200 is provided with an electrode
for each of the piezoelectric materials 202.
[0028]
The conductive material 208 is directly sputtered on the opposite surface of the 1-3 composite
piezoelectric material 200 to form a common electrode on the entire surface. The common
electrode is a common electrode when using the 1-3 composite piezoelectric material 200 to
construct a two-dimensional array of ultrasonic transducers. On the other hand, the abovementioned individual electrode becomes an active electrode. Of course, the common electrode
may also be used as an individual electrode in the same manner as described above, if necessary.
[0029]
Thus, a fine electrode pattern can be formed on the 1-3 composite piezoelectric material 200.
Since the conventional precise mask or the like is not used in the sputtering of the conductive
material 208, the manufacturing cost (cost) can be reduced. Although the printing of the negative
image of the electrode pattern requires a predetermined precision, it can be realized at a much
lower cost than when a mask for sputtering is used.
[0030]
In addition, since the removal of the unnecessary part after the entire surface sputtering can be
performed simply by performing the ultrasonic cleaning etc., the conventional precise photoetching, the mechanical processing etc. becomes unnecessary, and the cost is reduced.
[0031]
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For example, as schematically shown in FIG. 6, an ultrasonic transducer 220 having a twodimensional array of piezoelectric elements 210 is configured using the 1-3 composite
piezoelectric material 200 attached with electrodes as shown in FIG.
The piezoelectric element 210 corresponds to the piezoelectric material 202 in FIG. The
ultrasonic transducer 220 is an example of the embodiment of the ultrasonic transducer of the
present invention. The piezoelectric element 210 is an example of the embodiment of the
piezoelectric element in the present invention. It is preferable to further laminate a conductive
material to each electrode by, for example, electroless plating or the like to reinforce the
electrode, in order to increase the mechanical strength of the signal line connection portion. Of
course, a part of the 1-3 composite piezoelectric material shown in FIG. 5 may be cut away to
constitute an ultrasonic transducer of a one-dimensional array.
[0032]
A block diagram of an ultrasonic imaging apparatus using such an ultrasonic transducer is shown
in FIG. This apparatus is an example of embodiment of the ultrasonic imaging apparatus of this
invention. The apparatus has an ultrasonic probe 2. The ultrasound probe 2 has an ultrasound
transducer 220 shown in FIG. The ultrasonic probe 2 is used in contact with the subject 4. The
ultrasound probe 2 scans an internal three-dimensional region of the subject 4 with an
ultrasound beam and receives an echo.
[0033]
The ultrasound probe 2 is connected to the transmitting and receiving unit 6. The transmitting
and receiving unit 6 supplies a drive signal to the ultrasonic probe 2 to transmit an ultrasonic
wave. The transmitter / receiver 6 also receives an echo signal received by the ultrasonic probe
2. The transmission / reception unit 6 scans a three-dimensional area in the subject 4 by
sequentially switching the direction of the sound ray of ultrasonic transmission / reception.
When the ultrasonic probe 2 uses a one-dimensional array of ultrasonic transducers, the twodimensional area is scanned by sequentially switching the direction of the sound ray.
[0034]
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The transmission / reception unit 6 is connected to the echo processing unit 8. The transmission
/ reception unit 6 inputs an echo reception signal for each sound ray to the echo processing unit
8. The echo processing unit 8 forms image data (data) for each sound ray based on the echo
reception signal. That is, by logarithmic amplification and envelope detection of the echo
reception signal, a signal representing the intensity of the echo at each reflection point on the
acoustic line, that is, a scope signal, is obtained. Image data is formed with the amplitudes as
luminance values. Alternatively, the Doppler shift (Doppler shift) of the echo reception signal is
detected, and based thereon, dynamic image data regarding, for example, blood flow velocity etc.
is generated.
[0035]
The echo processing unit 8 is connected to the image processing unit 10. The image processing
unit 10 generates a three-dimensional image based on the image data input from the echo
processing unit 8. Alternatively, a C mode image is generated based on echo data sampled at a
predetermined distance in the sound ray direction. When the ultrasonic transducer is a onedimensional array, a B-mode image is generated.
[0036]
A display unit 12 is connected to the image processing unit 10. The display unit 12 receives an
image signal from the image processing unit 10, and displays an image based thereon. The
display unit 12 is configured by, for example, a graphic display or the like.
[0037]
The control unit 14 is connected to the ultrasonic probe 2, the transmission / reception unit 6,
the echo processing unit 8, the image processing unit 10, and the display unit 12 described
above. The control unit 14 supplies control signals to these units to control the operation.
Further, various notification signals are input to the control unit 14 from each unit to be
controlled. Under the control of the control unit 14, ultrasonic imaging is performed, and
imaging of a three-dimensional image or a C-mode image is performed.
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[0038]
An operation unit 16 is connected to the control unit 14. The operation unit 16 is configured of
an operation panel provided with, for example, a keyboard and other operation tools. The
operation unit 16 is used by the operator to input desired commands, information, and the like to
the control unit 14.
[0039]
As described above in detail, according to the present invention, a method and apparatus for
forming a conductive pattern that facilitates the removal of unnecessary portions after the
conductive material is deposited on the entire surface, and thus the electrode conduction A
patterned ultrasound transducer can be realized as well as an ultrasound imaging device using
such an ultrasound transducer.
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