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DESCRIPTION JP2005328507

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DESCRIPTION JP2005328507
An object of the present invention is to provide an ultrasonic probe with high reliability which
can reduce side lobes and make the sound field uniform without complicating the device
configuration and the manufacturing process. A piezoelectric element (15) for transmitting and
receiving ultrasonic waves in the vertical direction substantially orthogonal to the array direction
is provided, and each of the piezoelectric elements comprises at least at least two end surfaces of
the piezoelectric elements substantially orthogonal to the vertical direction. A plurality of grooves
20 parallel to the array direction but not penetrating the one end face are weighted with respect
to the lens direction orthogonal to the array direction and the vertical direction by the shape or
arrangement of each of the plurality of grooves The first acoustic matching layer 18 made of a
conductive member is joined along the lens direction to the end face where the ultrasonic waves
are transmitted and received and the grooves of the piezoelectric elements are formed. [Selected
figure] Figure 2
Ultrasonic probe and ultrasonic diagnostic apparatus
[0001]
The present invention relates to an ultrasonic probe and an ultrasonic diagnostic apparatus in
which side lobes are reduced by weighting transmission intensity and reception sensitivity of
ultrasonic waves to be transmitted and received.
[0002]
The ultrasonic probe is a device that irradiates an ultrasonic wave toward the object for the
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purpose of imaging the inside of the object, and receives a reflected wave from an interface with
different acoustic impedance in the object.
As an ultrasonic imaging apparatus in which such an ultrasonic probe is adopted, there is a
medical diagnostic apparatus for inspecting the inside of a human body, and the like.
[0003]
Among ultrasound probes, there is one called a one-dimensional array ultrasound probe. This
one-dimensional array ultrasonic probe has a piezoelectric element unit responsible for
transmission and reception of ultrasonic waves. The piezoelectric element unit is composed of a
plurality of piezoelectric elements arranged in parallel at regular intervals in the array direction.
An acoustic matching layer and an acoustic lens are provided on the human body side of the
piezoelectric unit to cover all the piezoelectric elements, and a backing material is provided on
the opposite side of the piezoelectric unit to the human side.
[0004]
When using a one-dimensional array ultrasonic probe, a drive signal is applied to each
piezoelectric element from a drive circuit. At this time, by applying a phase difference to each
drive signal by the delay circuit, the irradiation position of the ultrasonic wave is scanned in the
array direction.
[0005]
The ultrasonic waves generated from the respective piezoelectric elements are transmitted to the
human body via the acoustic matching layer and the acoustic lens. Then, the internal structure of
the human body is imaged and displayed on a display monitor by receiving the reflected wave
generated by the mismatch of the acoustic impedance in the human body by the piezoelectric
element unit.
[0006]
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When manufacturing a piezoelectric element unit, an acoustic matching layer is joined to a
rectangular piezoelectric material block. Then, only the piezoelectric material block is diced at
predetermined intervals with respect to the array direction, and the piezoelectric material block
is divided into an array, that is, divided into a plurality of piezoelectric elements.
[0007]
Then, the acoustic lens is joined to the acoustic matching layer, and the backing material is joined
to the arrayed piezoelectric material block, and finally, the drive circuit and each piezoelectric
element are electrically connected to complete the ultrasonic probe.
[0008]
By the way, in the above-mentioned one-dimensional array ultrasonic probe, when a drive signal
having a rectangular waveform is applied to each piezoelectric element, side lobes become a
problem in the sound field in the lens direction, or the sound field in the lens direction becomes
nonuniform. Sometimes.
[0009]
Therefore, in recent years, as a technique for reducing the side lobes and making the sound field
uniform, a technique for weighting the intensity of the ultrasonic wave transmitted from the
piezoelectric element unit has been disclosed.
[0010]
For example, there is disclosed an ultrasonic probe in which each piezoelectric element is divided
while changing the distance with respect to the lens direction, and the area density of the
piezoelectric element with respect to the lens direction is changed (see, for example, Patent
Document 1).
[0011]
Further, there is disclosed an ultrasonic probe in which each piezoelectric element is divided at a
constant interval with respect to the lens direction, and an intensity difference is given to drive
signals applied to each divided (for example, see Patent Document 2). .
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JP, 2003-9288, A JP, 5-23331, A
[0012]
However, in the ultrasonic probe described in Patent Document 1, when the piezoelectric
element unit is manufactured, each piezoelectric element is completely divided with respect to
the lens direction, and therefore, each divided piezoelectric element piece is positioned. To
increase the number of manufacturing processes and the cost of manufacturing.
[0013]
In addition, when the resin is filled between the divided piezoelectric element pieces, the
electrodes formed on the end faces of each piezoelectric element partially rest on the resin, so
the adhesion of the electrodes to the piezoelectric element is reduced. There is a problem of
reducing the reliability of the device.
[0014]
On the other hand, in the ultrasonic probe described in Patent Document 2, there is a problem
that the structure of the device or the circuit is complicated, the reliability of the ultrasonic probe
is deteriorated, and the cost of the manufacturing process is increased.
Furthermore, even if the drive signal has an intensity difference, it is difficult to obtain a desired
sound pressure distribution because the ultrasonic waves emitted from the respective
piezoelectric elements already cause acoustic crosstalk in the piezoelectric elements. .
Moreover, this ultrasound probe is not a one-dimensional array ultrasound probe.
[0015]
The present invention has been made in view of the above circumstances, and the object of the
present invention is to reduce side lobes without complicating the apparatus configuration and
manufacturing process, and to make the sound field uniform, and highly reliable. An ultrasonic
probe and an ultrasonic diagnostic apparatus provided with
[0016]
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In order to solve the problems and achieve the object, the ultrasonic probe and the ultrasonic
diagnostic apparatus of the present invention are configured as follows.
[0017]
(1) A piezoelectric element arranged at a predetermined interval with respect to a first direction
and transmitting and receiving an ultrasonic wave in a second direction substantially orthogonal
to the first direction is provided, each of the piezoelectric elements being each of the
piezoelectric elements At least one of two end faces substantially orthogonal to the second
direction of the element has a plurality of grooves which are not parallel to the first direction and
which do not pass through the first direction, and the shape of each of the plurality of grooves or
According to the arrangement, the ultrasonic waves are transmitted / received by being weighted
with respect to the first direction and a third direction orthogonal to the second direction, and
the third surface is provided with the grooves of the respective piezoelectric elements. The
conductive members are joined along the direction of.
[0018]
(2) A piezoelectric element arranged at a predetermined interval with respect to a first direction
and transmitting / receiving an ultrasonic wave to a second direction substantially orthogonal to
the first direction, and the second direction of each piezoelectric element Electrodes connected to
two end faces substantially orthogonal to each other, and each of the piezoelectric elements is
formed in the first direction and at least one of two end faces substantially perpendicular to the
second direction. A plurality of grooves parallel to the first direction for performing transmission
and reception of the ultrasonic waves by weighting the third direction orthogonal to the second
direction, and two end surfaces of the respective piezoelectric elements The said electrode joined
to the end surface which has the said several groove | channel among these is parted into
plurality by the said several groove | channel, and the said electrode divided into the plurality is
connected by the electroconductive member.
[0019]
(3) In the ultrasonic probe described in (1) or (2), the plurality of grooves are formed to have
substantially the same depth, and the intervals gradually decrease toward both sides in the third
direction. It is arranged.
[0020]
(4) In the ultrasonic probe described in (1) or (2), the plurality of grooves are formed at
substantially the same intervals with respect to the third direction, and go on both sides in the
third direction. The depth gradually increases with time.
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[0021]
(5) In the ultrasonic probe described in (1) or (2), each of the grooves is formed to have a
rounded bottom.
[0022]
(6) The conductive member described in (1) or (2) is bonded to the electrode by a nonconductive
adhesive filled in the plurality of grooves.
[0023]
(7) An ultrasonic probe for transmitting and receiving ultrasonic waves to and from an object,
and an image generating apparatus for generating an ultrasonic image of the object based on the
ultrasonic waves received by the ultrasonic probe, the ultrasonic probe comprising: And a
piezoelectric element arranged at a predetermined interval with respect to the first direction and
transmitting and receiving an ultrasonic wave in a second direction substantially orthogonal to
the first direction, each of the piezoelectric elements being each of the piezoelectric elements Of
at least one of the two end faces substantially orthogonal to the second direction of the second
groove, the grooves having a plurality of grooves not parallel to the first direction and not
penetrating, the shape or arrangement of each of the plurality of grooves According to the third
direction orthogonal to the first direction and the second direction, the transmission and
reception of the ultrasonic wave are performed, and the third surface is provided on the end face
of each of the piezoelectric elements having the grooves. Join conductive members along the
direction To have.
[0024]
(8) An ultrasonic probe for transmitting and receiving ultrasonic waves to and from an object,
and an image generating apparatus for generating an ultrasonic image of the object based on the
ultrasonic waves received by the ultrasonic probe, the ultrasonic probe comprising: A
piezoelectric element arranged at a predetermined interval with respect to a first direction and
transmitting and receiving an ultrasonic wave to a second direction substantially orthogonal to
the first direction; and the second direction of each piezoelectric element And an electrode joined
to two end faces substantially orthogonal to each other, and each of the piezoelectric elements is
disposed on at least one of the two end faces substantially orthogonal to the second direction, the
first direction and the first direction A plurality of grooves parallel to the first direction for
performing transmission and reception of the ultrasonic waves by weighting in a third direction
orthogonal to the second direction, the two end faces of the respective piezoelectric elements
Wherein the electrode bonded to the end face having the plurality of grooves is Wherein the
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plurality of grooves is divided into a plurality, the plurality of shed the electrodes are connected
by a conductive member.
[0025]
According to the present invention, the side lobe can be reduced and the sound field can be made
uniform without complicating the device configuration and the manufacturing process.
In addition, the reliability of the ultrasonic probe can be improved.
[0026]
Hereinafter, the best mode for carrying out the present invention will be described with
reference to the drawings.
[0027]
First, a first embodiment of the present invention will be described with reference to FIGS.
[0028]
FIG. 1 is a perspective view showing a schematic configuration of an ultrasound probe 10
according to a first embodiment of the present invention, and FIG. 2 is a cross-sectional view
showing the ultrasound probe 10 according to the embodiment cut along the lens direction. FIG.
3 is a cross-sectional view showing the ultrasonic probe 10 according to the embodiment cut
along the array direction.
[0029]
As shown in FIGS. 1 to 3, the ultrasonic probe 10 is a so-called one-dimensional array ultrasonic
probe, and has a backing 11 made of a sound absorbing material.
The backing material 11 is formed in a rectangular block shape, and the piezoelectric element
unit 12 is provided on one side surface of the backing material 11 via a flexible printed wiring
board 31.
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[0030]
The piezoelectric element unit 12 is configured of a plurality of piezoelectric elements 15 formed
in a strip shape.
The piezoelectric elements 15 are arranged at regular intervals in the array direction (first
direction), and each piezoelectric element 15 forms a so-called channel for transmitting and
receiving ultrasonic waves.
[0031]
As a material of the piezoelectric element 15, a piezoelectric ceramic or a piezoelectric single
crystal is used.
Each piezoelectric element 15 is polarized in the vertical direction (second direction) orthogonal
to the array direction in its manufacturing process.
[0032]
Ground electrodes 23a (electrodes) and signal electrodes 23b (electrodes) are provided on the
upper end surface and the lower end surface of each piezoelectric element 15, respectively.
The ground electrode 23a and the signal electrode 23b are formed of metal foil such as copper
foil, and a driving voltage can be applied to the piezoelectric element 15 through the electrodes
23a and 23b.
[0033]
A plurality of grooves 20 (grooves) are formed on the upper end surface of each piezoelectric
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element 15.
The grooves 20 are formed along the vertical direction, and the pitch distance to the lens
direction orthogonal to the array direction and the vertical direction is determined based on the
sine function S.
[0034]
FIG. 4 is a schematic view showing a sine function S for determining the pitch interval of the
groove portion 20. As shown in FIG.
The horizontal axis in FIG. 4 indicates the position of the piezoelectric element 15 with respect to
the lens direction (the center of the lens direction is 0).
[0035]
As shown in FIG. 4, the pitch distance of the grooves 20 with respect to the lens direction is
determined to increase as it goes to the center of the lens direction and to decrease as it goes to
the outer side of the lens direction based on the function value of the sine function. .
[0036]
In the present embodiment, the pitch distance of the groove portion 20 with respect to the lens
direction is determined based on a sine function. However, the present invention is not limited to
this, and may be, for example, Gaussian.
[0037]
The signal electrodes 23 b of the respective piezoelectric elements 15 are electrically connected
to a plurality of signal wirings 31 b (described later) of the flexible printed wiring board 31.
The signal lines 31 b are arranged at regular intervals in the array direction, and drive signals
can be separately applied to the plurality of piezoelectric elements 15 arranged in the array
direction.
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[0038]
An acoustic matching layer unit 25 is provided on the upper side surface of the piezoelectric
element unit 12.
The acoustic matching layer unit 25 is formed by a plurality of strip-shaped acoustic matching
layers 17, and the acoustic matching layers 17 are arranged to correspond to the piezoelectric
elements 15.
[0039]
The acoustic matching layer 17 is for matching the acoustic impedance of the piezoelectric
element 15 with the human body, and in the present embodiment, the first material is made of
different materials so that the acoustic impedance changes stepwise from the piezoelectric
element 15 toward the human body. And an acoustic matching layer 19 (electrically conductive
member) and a second acoustic matching layer 19.
[0040]
The first acoustic matching layer 18 is formed of a conductive material, and the lower end
surface thereof is electrically connected to the ground electrode 23 a on the piezoelectric
element 15.
On the other hand, the second acoustic matching layer 19 is formed of an insulating material,
and the lower end face thereof is joined to the upper end face of the first acoustic matching layer
18.
[0041]
An acoustic lens 22 is provided above the second acoustic matching layer 19 so as to cover all
the second acoustic matching layers 19.
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The acoustic lens 22 is a lens made of silicone rubber or the like having an acoustic impedance
close to that of a living body, and uses ultrasound refraction to converge an ultrasonic beam to
improve resolution.
The second acoustic matching layer 19 may be formed of a conductive material, and the second
acoustic matching layer 19 and the ground extraction electrode 24 (described later) may be
electrically connected.
[0042]
A nonconductive resin material (nonconductive adhesive) such as epoxy is filled in the gaps
between the piezoelectric elements 15 arranged in the array direction and the inside of the
grooves 20 formed in each of the piezoelectric elements 15.
This nonconductive resin material is for giving mechanical strength to the piezoelectric element
unit 12 and the acoustic matching layer unit 25 and for bonding the first acoustic matching layer
18 to the earth electrode 23a.
[0043]
A ground extraction electrode 24 is provided on the side of each first acoustic matching layer 18.
Each of the ground extraction electrodes 24 is electrically connected to the first acoustic
matching layer 18 made of a conductive material, and the lower end portion thereof is integrated
with the flexible printed wiring board 31.
[0044]
The flexible printed wiring board 31 has a two-layer structure.
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A ground wire 31a is provided inside the first layer, and a plurality of the signal wires 31b
arranged at predetermined intervals in the array direction are provided inside the second layer.
[0045]
The front end portion of the first layer is disposed on the side of the lower end portion of the
ground extraction electrode 24, and the ground wiring 31 a and the ground extraction electrode
24 are electrically connected.
Further, the tip of the second layer is disposed between the backing material 11 and the
piezoelectric element unit 12 as described above, and the signal wiring 31 b and the signal
electrode 23 b are electrically connected.
[0046]
Next, the process of manufacturing the ultrasonic probe 10 of the said structure is demonstrated.
[0047]
FIG. 5 is a schematic view showing the manufacturing process of the ultrasonic probe 10
according to the embodiment.
[0048]
As shown in FIG. 5A, first, a piezoelectric block 53 provided with a first electrode 51 and a
second electrode 52 is prepared.
The piezoelectric block 53 is produced by producing a piezoelectric material such as a
piezoelectric ceramic or a piezoelectric crystal according to a general method for producing a
piezoelectric material, and then plating or sputtering Au or the like on both side surfaces of the
piezoelectric material Obtained by polarization of
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[0049]
Next, as shown in FIG. 5B, the piezoelectric block 53 is diced from the first electrode 51 side
along the array direction.
This dicing is for so-called weighting, and is performed up to the middle part of the piezoelectric
block 53 so that the pitch interval becomes larger toward the center of the lens direction based
on the function value of the sine function S.
As a result, the portion on the first electrode 51 side of the piezoelectric block 53 is divided into
a plurality of incised ends 27, and a groove row 21 is formed between the incised ends 27.
[0050]
Next, as shown in FIG. 5C, the piezoelectric element 15 and the first acoustic matching material
54 and the like are filled and adhered with an epoxy adhesive or the like, and the first acoustic
matching material 54 is deposited on the first electrode 51. Are electrically joined, and a second
acoustic matching material 55 is joined on the first acoustic matching material 54, as shown in
FIG. 5 (d).
Then, as shown in FIG. 5E, the flexible printed wiring board 31 is joined to the second electrode
52, and the signal wiring 31b and the second electrode 52 are electrically connected.
[0051]
Next, as shown in FIG. 5 (f), the backing material 11 is joined to the flexible printed wiring board
31 joined to the piezoelectric block 53, and as shown in FIG. 5 (g), piezoelectric along the lens
direction The body block 53, the first acoustic matching material 54, the second acoustic
matching material 55, and the flexible printed wiring board 31 are diced from the second
acoustic matching material 55 side.
[0052]
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This dicing is for so-called arraying, and is performed until the flexible printed wiring board 31 is
completely divided at a constant pitch interval in the array direction.
Thereby, the piezoelectric block 53, the first acoustic matching material 54, the second acoustic
matching material 55, the first electrode 51, the second electrode 52, and the flexible printed
wiring board 31 are arrayed, that is, in the array direction. It is completely separated, and a gap
is formed between them.
[0053]
The piezoelectric block 53 is connected to the plurality of piezoelectric elements 15, the first
acoustic matching material 54 is connected to the first acoustic matching layers 18, and the
second acoustic matching material 55 is added to the plurality of piezoelectric elements by these
two times of dicing. The second acoustic matching layer 19 and the first electrode 51 are the
plurality of ground electrodes 23a, the second electrode 52 is the plurality of signal electrodes
23b, and the groove row 21 is the plurality of grooves 20.
[0054]
In addition, even if the piezoelectric block 53, the first acoustic matching material 54, the second
acoustic matching material 55, the first electrode 51, the second electrode 52, and the flexible
printed wiring board 31 are completely separated, piezoelectric Since the backing material 11 is
joined to the body block 53 via the flexible printed wiring board 31, each part is not separated
into pieces.
[0055]
Next, as shown in FIG. 5 (h), the acoustic lens 22 is joined onto the second acoustic matching
layer 19, and at the same time, a conductive adhesive is used on the side of the first acoustic
matching layer 18. Are connected, and the ground extraction electrode 24 and the ground wiring
31a of the flexible printed wiring board 31 are electrically connected.
Thus, the ultrasonic probe 10 is completed.
[0056]
According to the ultrasonic probe 10 configured as described above, when dicing for weighting is
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performed on the piezoelectric body block 53, the piezoelectric body block 53 is not completely
separated, thereby forming a plurality of piezoelectric elements 15 formed in each piezoelectric
element 15. The groove 20 is fixed to the middle of the piezoelectric element 15.
[0057]
For this reason, by performing dicing for weighting on the piezoelectric body block 53, the
piezoelectric body block 53 is not separated into pieces, so the manufacturing process of the
ultrasonic probe 10 can be simplified.
[0058]
After the piezoelectric block 53 is formed, that is, after the first electrode 51 and the second
electrode 52 are formed on the piezoelectric material, dicing for weighting is performed on the
piezoelectric block 53.
[0059]
Therefore, since it is not necessary to bond the first electrode 51 on the nonconductive resin
material in the manufacturing process of the ultrasonic probe 10, it is possible to prevent the
decrease in the adhesion strength of the first electrode 51 to the piezoelectric material. .
As a result, the reliability of the ultrasonic probe 10 is improved.
[0060]
By the way, with such a configuration, the ground electrode 23a is separated at each cut end 27
of the piezoelectric element 15, so that it is difficult to connect the ground electrode 23a and the
ground wire 31a by the conventional connection method.
[0061]
However, in the present embodiment, by forming the first acoustic matching layer 18 of a
conductive material, the ground electrode 23 a is made common, and the ground electrode 23 a
and the grounding wire 31 a via the first acoustic matching layer 18. Connected.
[0062]
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Therefore, since the connection structure and the arrangement structure of the grounding wire
31a are not complicated, the structure of the ultrasonic probe 10 can be simplified and the
manufacturing process can be simplified.
[0063]
Here, the sound field with respect to the lens direction of the ultrasonic wave transmitted from
the ultrasonic probe 10 according to the present embodiment will be examined.
[0064]
FIG. 6 is a distribution chart showing a transmission sound pressure distribution by the
ultrasonic probe 10 according to the embodiment, and FIG. 13 is a distribution chart showing a
transmission sound pressure distribution by a conventional ultrasonic probe.
In these figures, the horizontal axis represents the distance from the acoustic lens 22 to the axial
direction of the ultrasonic probe 10, and the vertical axis represents the distance from the axial
line of the ultrasonic probe 10 to the lens direction, i to e. Shows an isoacoustic line (the
magnitude relation of sound pressure is B> B> C> N> E).
[0065]
If FIG. 6 and FIG. 13 are compared, it can be confirmed that each isoacoustic line i to e is
approaching the axial center line side of the ultrasonic probe 10 by using this ultrasonic probe
10.
In particular, it can be seen that the isoacoustic lines located at positions away from the axial
center line of the ultrasonic probe 10, such as isoacoustic lines D and E, approach the axial
center side of the ultrasonic probe 10.
This indicates that the side lobes of the ultrasonic waves transmitted from the ultrasonic probe
10 with respect to the lens direction are reduced.
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[0066]
Furthermore, by using this ultrasonic probe 10, it can be confirmed that each of the isoacoustic
lines i to h is a smooth curve.
This indicates that the sound field of the ultrasonic wave transmitted from the ultrasonic probe
10 in the lens direction is uniformed.
[0067]
From the above results, even in the case where the groove is formed only up to the middle of the
piezoelectric block 53 as in the present embodiment, the side lobe of the ultrasonic wave
transmitted from the ultrasonic probe 10 with respect to the lens direction can be reduced. It was
also confirmed that the sound field in the lens direction could be made uniform.
[0068]
Further, in the vicinity of the ultrasonic probe 10, it can be seen that the isoacoustic lines are
considerably closer to the axial center line side of the ultrasonic probe 10 as compared with the
conventional case.
This indicates that the resolution of the ultrasonic waves transmitted from the ultrasonic probe
10 has been increased.
[0069]
Next, a second embodiment of the present invention will be described using FIG.
In addition, the description is abbreviate | omitted about the structure and effect | action similar
to 1st Embodiment here.
[0070]
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FIG. 7 is a cross-sectional view showing an ultrasonic probe 10A according to a second
embodiment of the present invention cut along the lens direction.
As shown in FIG. 7, in the ultrasonic probe 10A according to the present embodiment, a plurality
of grooves 20 are formed on the lower end surface of the piezoelectric element 15.
[0071]
Even with this configuration, the same effects as those of the first embodiment can be obtained.
That is, simplification of the manufacturing process, improvement of reliability, reduction of side
lobes with respect to the lens direction of ultrasonic waves, equalization of the sound field with
respect to the lens direction of ultrasonic waves And the improvement of the resolution of the
ultrasonic wave can be obtained.
[0072]
Furthermore, in this configuration, since the ground electrode 23a is not divided, there is no need
to make the first acoustic matching layer 18 a conductive material.
Therefore, the material selection width of the first acoustic matching layer 18 can be expanded.
[0073]
In this configuration, the signal electrode 23 b is divided into a plurality of parts, and these signal
electrodes 23 b are electrically shared by the signal wiring 31 b of the flexible printed wiring
board 31.
That is, in the present embodiment, the signal wiring 31b functions as a conductive member in
the present invention.
[0074]
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Next, a third embodiment of the present invention will be described using FIG.
In addition, the description is abbreviate | omitted about the same structure as 1st, 2nd
embodiment, and an effect | action here.
[0075]
FIG. 8 is a cross-sectional view showing a piezoelectric element 15A according to a third
embodiment of the present invention. As shown in FIG. 8, nothing is filled in the groove 20A of
the piezoelectric element 15A according to the present embodiment. As described above, by
filling the groove portion 20A with nothing, it is possible to prevent the occurrence of acoustic
crosstalk in the piezoelectric element 15 of the ultrasonic wave propagating in the piezoelectric
element 15.
[0076]
Next, a fourth embodiment of the present invention will be described using FIG. In addition, the
description is abbreviate | omitted about the structure similar to 1st-3rd embodiment, and an
effect | action here.
[0077]
FIG. 9 is a cross-sectional view showing a piezoelectric element 15B according to a fourth
embodiment of the present invention. As shown in FIG. 9, in the groove portion 20B of the
piezoelectric element 15B according to this embodiment, the bottom surface 26a (bottom) is
formed to be round, and the bottom surface 26a and the side surface 26b are smoothly
connected. As described above, by making the bottom surface 26a round and smoothly
connecting the bottom surface 26a and the side surface 26b of the groove portion 20B, the
difference in the thermal expansion coefficient between the nonconductive resin material and the
piezoelectric element 15 or the impact from the outside The mechanical strength can be
increased with respect to cracks and the like due to, for example.
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[0078]
In the present embodiment, the bottom surface 26a of the groove 20B is rounded, but the
present invention is not limited to this. If the bottom surface 26a and the side surface 26b are
connected smoothly, most of the bottom surface 26a is flat. It may be.
[0079]
Next, a fifth embodiment of the present invention will be described using FIG.
In addition, the description is abbreviate | omitted about the same structure as 1st-4th
embodiment, and an effect here.
[0080]
FIG. 10 is a cross-sectional view showing a piezoelectric element 15C according to a fifth
embodiment of the present invention. As shown in FIG. 10, the groove portions 20C of the
piezoelectric element 15C according to the present embodiment are formed at a constant pitch
interval with respect to the lens direction and gradually become deeper as going on both sides of
the lens direction. The depth of the groove 20C is determined based on the function value of the
sine function S.
[0081]
By the way, the intensity of the ultrasonic wave emitted from the piezoelectric element 15 tends
to weaken in the vicinity of the groove 20C. Therefore, as in the present embodiment, the side
lobes of the sound field in the lens direction can also be reduced by deepening the grooves 20C
toward both sides in the lens direction.
[0082]
In the present embodiment, the depth of the groove 20C with respect to the lens direction is
determined based on the function value of the sine function S. However, the present invention is
not limited to this. For example, Gaussian or the like may be used.
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[0083]
Next, a sixth embodiment of the present invention will be described using FIG.
In addition, about the structure similar to 1st-5th embodiment, and the effect | action, the
description is abbreviate | omitted here.
[0084]
FIG. 11 is a cross-sectional view showing a piezoelectric element 15D according to a sixth
embodiment of the present invention. As shown in FIG. 11, the groove 20D of the piezoelectric
element 15D according to the present embodiment is formed to face each other on both the
upper end surface and the lower end surface of the piezoelectric element 15D. Thus, acoustic
crosstalk in the piezoelectric element 15 can be further suppressed by forming the groove
portions 20D in both the upper end surface and the lower end surface of the piezoelectric
element 15D.
[0085]
Further, since the shape of the piezoelectric element 15 is an object with respect to the center
line in the vertical direction, even if the thermal expansion coefficients of the piezoelectric
element 15 and the nonconductive resin material are produced, the piezoelectric element 15 is
Warpage that occurs can be suppressed.
[0086]
Next, a seventh embodiment of the present invention will be described with reference to FIG.
In addition, description is abbreviate | omitted about the structure similar to 1st-6th
embodiment, and effect | action here.
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[0087]
FIG. 12 is a schematic view showing the configuration of an ultrasonic diagnostic apparatus
according to the seventh embodiment of the present invention. As shown in FIG. 12, this
ultrasonic diagnostic apparatus includes the ultrasonic probe 10, a transmission / reception unit
110, an image processing unit 120 (image generation device), a display unit 130, a control unit
140, and an operation unit 150. There is.
[0088]
The transmission / reception unit 110 outputs a drive signal to the ultrasound probe 10 and
inputs a reception signal corresponding to the reflected wave received by the ultrasound probe
10. The image processing unit 120 receives a reception signal from the transmission / reception
unit 110, and constructs an image based on the reception signal. The display unit 130 receives
an image signal from the image processing unit 120, and displays an image based on the image
signal. The control unit 140 receives operation information from the operation unit 150, and
controls the transmission / reception unit 110, the image processing unit 120, and the display
unit 130 based on the operation information.
[0089]
When using the ultrasonic diagnostic apparatus of the above-mentioned configuration, a medical
worker holds the ultrasonic probe 10 and applies the acoustic lens 22 provided at the tip to the
inspection site of the subject h (subject). And while transmitting an ultrasonic wave to Examinee
h from ultrasonic probe 10, an ultrasonic wave reflected in the body of Examinee h is received,
and an internal structure of Examinee h is displayed based on this ultrasonic wave Displayed on
130. Then, the subject h is diagnosed while looking at the image displayed on the display unit
130.
[0090]
According to the ultrasonic diagnostic apparatus of the above configuration, the ultrasonic probe
10 with reduced side lobes in the slice direction is used. Therefore, since a clear internal image in
the body of the subject h can be obtained, more accurate diagnosis can be performed as
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compared with the case of using a conventional ultrasonic diagnostic apparatus.
[0091]
In the present embodiment, although the ultrasound probe 10 according to the first embodiment
is applied to an ultrasound diagnostic apparatus, the present invention is not limited to this, and
for example, ultrasound according to the second to sixth embodiments. A probe may be used.
[0092]
The present invention is not limited to the above-described embodiment as it is, and at the
implementation stage, the constituent elements can be modified and embodied without departing
from the scope of the invention.
In addition, various inventions can be formed by appropriate combinations of a plurality of
constituent elements disclosed in the embodiments. For example, some components may be
deleted from all the components shown in the embodiment. Furthermore, components in
different embodiments may be combined as appropriate.
[0093]
That is, although the acoustic matching layer 17 is configured of the first acoustic matching layer
18 and the second acoustic matching layer 19 in the embodiment, the present invention is not
limited thereto. For example, the first acoustic matching layer It may consist of only 18 layers.
[0094]
FIG. 1 is a perspective view showing a schematic configuration of an ultrasonic probe according
to a first embodiment of the present invention.
Sectional drawing which cut | disconnects and shows the ultrasonic probe which concerns on the
embodiment along a lens direction. Sectional drawing which cut | disconnects and shows the
ultrasonic probe which concerns on the embodiment along an array direction. Schematic which
shows the sine function which determines the pitch space | interval of the groove part
concerning the embodiment. Schematic which shows the manufacturing process of the ultrasonic
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probe concerning the embodiment. The distribution figure which shows the transmission sound
pressure distribution by the ultrasonic probe concerning the embodiment. Sectional drawing
which cut | disconnects and shows the ultrasonic probe which concerns on 2nd Embodiment of
this invention along a lens direction. Sectional drawing which shows the piezoelectric element
which concerns on 3rd Embodiment of this invention. Sectional drawing which shows the
piezoelectric element which concerns on 4th Embodiment of this invention. Sectional drawing
which shows the piezoelectric element which concerns on 5th Embodiment of this invention.
Sectional drawing which shows the piezoelectric element which concerns on 6th Embodiment of
this invention. Schematic which shows the structure of the ultrasound diagnosing device based
on 7th Embodiment of this invention. The distribution map which shows the transmission sound
pressure distribution by the conventional ultrasonic probe.
Explanation of sign
[0095]
DESCRIPTION OF SYMBOLS 10 ultrasonic probe 10A ultrasonic probe 15 piezoelectric element
18 1st acoustic matching layer (conductive member) 20 groove part 23a earth electrode
(electrode) 23b signal electrode (Electrode), 26a ... bottom surface (bottom), 120 ... image
processing unit (image generation device), S ... sine function, h ... subject (object).
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