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DESCRIPTION JP2006345148

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DESCRIPTION JP2006345148
PROBLEM TO BE SOLVED: To provide a method of manufacturing an ultrasonic probe capable of
reliably dividing only an acoustic matching layer without cutting a common electrode layer, and
an ultrasonic probe manufactured by the method. SOLUTION: A height measurement unit 19 is
formed on an extension of the surface of the common electrode layer 16 to which the acoustic
matching layer 12 is joined, and the height of the height measurement unit 19 is measured after
the acoustic matching layer 12 is joined. Based on the measurement result, the cutting depth of
the dividing means for dividing the acoustic matching layer 12 is controlled. A second height
measurement for measuring the height of the surface of the piezoelectric body 11 or the other
acoustic matching layer 16b on an extension of the surface of the piezoelectric body 11 or the
other acoustic matching layer 16b to which the common electrode layer 16 is bonded The part
19a may be further formed, and the cut depth of the dividing means may be controlled based on
the height measurement results of the height measurement parts 19 and 19a. Before the bonding
of the acoustic bonding layer 12 and the common electrode layer 16, it is preferable that all the
height measurement parts 19 and 19 a be protected by the masking materials 18 and 18 a.
[Selected figure] Figure 1
Ultrasonic probe, method of manufacturing the same, ultrasonic diagnostic apparatus and
ultrasonic flaw detector
[0001]
The present invention relates to an ultrasonic probe used in medical fields such as diagnosis and
treatment, and industrial fields such as nondestructive inspection, a method of manufacturing the
same, an ultrasonic diagnostic apparatus using the ultrasonic probe, and ultra-sound The present
invention relates to an ultrasonic flaw detector.
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[0002]
The ultrasonic diagnostic apparatus and the ultrasonic flaw detector use ultrasonic waves as an
object or an object (hereinafter, both of them are referred to as an “object”.
The echo signal reflected at a specific site is detected, the situation is displayed on a monitor, and
information necessary for diagnosis of an object and defect detection is provided. At this time,
the ultrasonic diagnostic apparatus and the ultrasonic flaw detector use an ultrasonic probe for
transmitting ultrasonic waves and for receiving reflected echo signals.
[0003]
FIG. 7 shows an example of such an ultrasound probe. In the figure, the ultrasound probe 10 is
an acoustic matching consisting of a plurality of piezoelectric bodies 11 arranged to transmit and
receive ultrasound, and two layers provided on the front surface (upper side of the figure) of the
piezoelectric body 11 on the test object side. Layer 12 (12a, 12b), the acoustic lens 13 provided
on the surface of the acoustic matching layer 12 on the test object side, and the holding member
14 provided on the back surface opposite to the acoustic matching layer 12 with respect to the
piezoelectric body 11 And consists of Electrode layers (not shown) are respectively disposed on
the front and back surfaces of the piezoelectric body 11 to transmit and receive electrical signals
with the piezoelectric body 11.
[0004]
Among them, the piezoelectric body 11 is formed of a piezoelectric ceramic such as a PZT
system, a single crystal, or a composite piezoelectric body obtained by combining the abovementioned material and a polymer, converts voltage into ultrasonic waves, and transmits the
ultrasonic waves. Alternatively, the echo reflected in the test object is converted into an electrical
signal and received. In the illustrated example, a plurality of piezoelectric bodies 11 are arranged
along the X direction. Such a plurality of arrays of piezoelectric bodies 11 can electronically scan
ultrasonic waves and deflect or focus them, enabling so-called electronic scanning.
[0005]
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The acoustic matching layer 12 is provided to efficiently transmit and receive ultrasonic waves in
the test object, and is made of, for example, an organic material such as epoxy resin, glass, an
inorganic material such as graphite, or the like. Although two layers of the acoustic matching
layers 12a and 12b are provided in the illustrated example, the number may be one or three or
more. The piezoelectric body 11 (including the electrode) and the acoustic matching layer 12
corresponding thereto constitute a piezoelectric vibrator.
[0006]
The acoustic lens 13 serves to narrow the ultrasound beam in order to increase the resolution of
the diagnostic image. In the illustrated example, it is formed in a semicylindrical shape that is
convex along the Y direction, and the ultrasonic beam is narrowed in the Y direction. The
acoustic lens 13 is an optional element and is provided as needed.
[0007]
The holding member 14 is made of, for example, ferrite rubber, which is a component of the
ultrasonic probe, and holds the array of the plurality of piezoelectric bodies 11. In addition, the
holding member may be a holding member for absorbing and attenuating unnecessary ultrasonic
waves radiated from the lower surface of the piezoelectric body 11, for example, temporarily
holding the piezoelectric body 11 during a preparation process such as a temporary fixing tape
or a temporary fixing agent. It may be something to do. In the present specification, the X
direction in FIG. 7 may also be referred to as “scanning direction”, the Y direction as “slice
direction”, and the Z direction as “thickness direction of (piezoelectric body)”.
[0008]
In contrast to the ultrasonic probe 10 of a one-dimensional array in which the piezoelectric
bodies 11 are arranged in one line in the scanning direction as shown in FIG. 7, two-dimensional
in which the piezoelectric bodies 11 are arranged also in the slice direction orthogonal to the
scanning direction in recent years An array ultrasound probe is seen. Using this two-dimensional
array ultrasonic probe, the image quality of an ultrasonic image can be improved by using a
method such as dynamic focusing in the slice direction in addition to the scanning direction, or
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ultrasonic control by electronic control An apparatus has been developed which scans a beam in
three dimensions and produces a three-dimensional ultrasound image.
[0009]
In order to form a desired ultrasonic beam in a two-dimensional array ultrasonic probe and scan
it in three dimensions, it is important that each piezoelectric transducer vibrate individually.
Therefore, drive electrodes connected to individual signal lines for individually driving each
piezoelectric vibrator are provided separately for each piezoelectric vibrator. However, with
regard to the ground electrode provided corresponding to this drive electrode, it is extremely
difficult in terms of space to similarly divide each piezoelectric vibrator and individually handle it
to the ground line. Therefore, it is general to provide the common electrode between the
piezoelectric body 11 and the acoustic matching layer 12 without dividing.
[0010]
In the ultrasonic probe 10 shown in FIG. 7, the acoustic matching layer 12 is integrally formed
with the plurality of piezoelectric bodies 11, but the acoustic matching layer 12 is formed of
piezoelectric material using a dividing means such as a dicing saw, for example. It is known to
divide corresponding to the body 11 (see, for example, Patent Document 1). By dividing the
acoustic matching layer 12 in this manner, the acoustic coupling between the adjacent
piezoelectric transducers is interrupted, and the effect of broadening the directivity of the
ultrasonic probe is aimed. However, when the acoustic matching layer 12 is to be divided in this
manner, there is a risk that the ground electrode disposed at the boundary between the
piezoelectric body 11 and the acoustic matching layer 12 is also simultaneously divided as
described above.
[0011]
If the ground electrode is divided completely by mistake, the piezoelectric vibrator corresponding
to the divided ground electrode can not be driven naturally. Even if the connection is not
completely divided, stable drive signals can not be supplied even in the case of an incomplete
connection, which causes deterioration of the performance of the ultrasound probe such as
ultrasound beam formation and ultrasound beam scanning. Become. In order to cope with such a
situation, in the prior art, there has been proposed a manufacturing method which does not
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damage the common ground without dividing the ground electrode (see, for example, Patent
Document 2).
[0012]
FIGS. 8 (a) to 8 (c) show the manufacturing procedure of the ultrasonic probe disclosed in Patent
Document 2 mentioned above. The ultrasonic probe shown in FIG. 8C comprises a piezoelectric
vibrator 20 provided with an acoustic matching layer 12 on the acoustic radiation surface of the
piezoelectric body 11, and is grounded between the piezoelectric body 11 and the acoustic
matching layer 12 Common electrode layer 16 is formed. Further, electrode layers 17a and 17b
made of a conductive material such as baked silver, gold sputtering, gold plating and the like are
respectively provided on upper and lower surfaces of the piezoelectric body 11, and the upper
electrode layer 17a is a common electrode layer 16; The lower electrode layers 17b are
respectively connected to drive electric terminals (not shown), and these are connected to the
ultrasonic diagnostic apparatus (not shown) or the main body side of the ultrasonic flaw detector.
[0013]
According to the manufacturing procedure disclosed in Patent Document 2, first, in FIG. 8A, the
common electrode layer 16 is formed on one surface of the acoustic matching layer 12. In this
common electrode layer 16, a portion to be a gap between adjacent piezoelectric vibrators 20 is
formed thicker than the other portions. Next, in FIG. 8B, the piezoelectric body 11 is bonded to
the acoustic matching layer 12. At this time, since the patterns of the thick portion and the thin
portion of the common electrode layer 16 reflect the arrangement of the piezoelectric body 11,
one electrode layer 17 a of the piezoelectric body 11 is formed on the thinner portion of the
common electrode layer 16. Apply pressure bonding as embedded.
[0014]
Next, in FIG. 8C, the acoustic matching layer 12 is cut from above by a dividing means such as a
dicing saw, and the acoustic matching layer 12 is divided into a plurality of acoustic matching
layers 12 corresponding to the respective piezoelectric members 11. An array of transducers 20
is formed. At this time, the width of the groove to be divided is made narrower than the width of
the thick portion of the common electrode layer 16, and the dividing position is set at the center
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of the thick portion of the common electrode layer 16. By this, the dicing saw can be driven to
the thick portion of the common electrode layer 16 and cut, and the acoustic matching layer 12
can be surely divided, and the common ground electrode 16 left without cutting the common
electrode layer 16 It can be formed as The outline of the two-dimensional array ultrasonic probe
22 after being divided in this manner is shown in FIG. JP-A-9-238399 JP-A-2002-186617
[0015]
However, there is still room for improvement in the above-described method of manufacturing an
ultrasonic probe according to the prior art. First, extra man-hours are required to make the
common electrode layer 16 of non-uniform thickness. The common electrode layer 16 is formed
by deposition of gold or silver on the foil-like thin plate or the acoustic matching layer 12,
sputtering, baking of silver or the like. At this time, in the case where the thickness of the
common electrode layer 16 is changed as shown in FIG. 8A, is the thickness of the thin common
electrode layer 16 partially reduced by additional processing such as polishing? Or, labor, such
as partially providing a thin portion using patterned masking during deposition or sputtering, is
required.
[0016]
Further, when bonding the piezoelectric body 11 to the common electrode layer 16, it is
necessary to align the piezoelectric body 11 accurately on the patterned thin portion and then
bond. However, in two dimensions (the same applies in the case of one dimension) In this way, it
is difficult to align all of the array of many fine piezoelectric elements 11 that are developed into
the above. Even if slight displacement occurs in the piezoelectric body 11 and the thick portion
of the common electrode layer 16 overlaps, it causes bonding failure, causing conduction failure
between the electrode layer 17 a and the common electrode layer 16 and breakage of the
piezoelectric vibrator 20. The possibility of
[0017]
Furthermore, even if all of the piezoelectric members 11 can be accurately bonded in place, when
cutting the acoustic matching layer 12 with a dicing saw, the dicing saw is correctly cut in the
center of the thick portion of the common electrode layer 16 In addition, it is very important to
cut into a predetermined depth precisely, but this requires precise position control of the dividing
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means. If the cutting position is slightly deviated, the portion of the common electrode layer 16
connecting the adjacent piezoelectric members is cut, or there is a danger of cutting even if the
cutting is excessive, and conversely if the cutting is too few The division of the acoustic matching
layer 12 is insufficient. If a reliable division of the acoustic matching layer 12 is performed in
consideration of the variation of each component, the cutting amount is likely to be excessive,
and the risk of cutting the common electrode layer 16 is increased.
[0018]
As described above, the present invention has been made to solve the problems in the prior art as
described above, in which only the acoustic matching layer is reliably divided by a simple method
without requiring accurate alignment of the piezoelectric material. , A method of manufacturing
an ultrasonic probe capable of forming a common electrode, an ultrasonic probe with no fear of
performance deterioration created by the manufacturing method, and ultrasonic waves using the
ultrasonic probe It aims at providing a diagnostic device and an ultrasonic flaw detector.
[0019]
The present invention provides a height measurement unit for measuring the height of the
surface on the surface of the common electrode layer to which the acoustic matching layer is
bonded, and the height of the height measurement unit after the bonding of the acoustic
matching layer. Is to solve the above-mentioned problems by controlling the cutting depth of the
dividing means for dividing the acoustic matching layer corresponding to each piezoelectric body
on the basis of the measurement result, specifically the following contents. including.
[0020]
That is, one aspect according to the present invention is a method of manufacturing an ultrasonic
probe which is pressed against the surface of a test object to transmit and receive ultrasonic
waves, and the common electrode on the side to which the acoustic matching layer is bonded A
height measurement unit for measuring the height of the surface is provided on the surface of
the layer, and the height of the height measurement unit is measured after bonding of the
acoustic matching layer, and each piezoelectric body is measured based on the measurement
result. The present invention relates to a manufacturing method characterized by controlling a
cutting depth of dividing means for dividing an acoustic matching layer correspondingly.
[0021]
When the second acoustic matching layer is provided on the surface of the electrode layer of the
piezoelectric body on the side to which the common electrode layer is joined or between the
acoustic matching layer and the piezoelectric body, the acoustic matching layer is joined A
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second height measurement unit for measuring the height of the electrode layer surface of the
piezoelectric body or the height of the surface of the second acoustic matching layer on the
surface of the second acoustic matching layer on the The height of the second height
measurement unit is further measured after bonding of the acoustic matching layer, and each of
the height measurement unit and the second height measurement unit is measured based on the
measurement results of both. It is possible to control the cutting depth of the dividing means for
dividing the acoustic matching layer corresponding to the piezoelectric body.
[0022]
Before the acoustic bonding layer or the common electrode layer is bonded, the step of attaching
a masking material to all the height measurement parts and removing the masking immediately
before the measurement can be included.
[0023]
According to another aspect of the present invention, a plurality of piezoelectric members for
transmitting and receiving ultrasonic waves to and from a test object, a common electrode layer
provided on the test object side of the piezoelectric member, and a test of the common electrode
layer A method of manufacturing an ultrasonic probe including an acoustic matching layer
provided on an object side, wherein the common electrode layer is joined to the surface of an
electrode layer on the test object side of the plurality of piezoelectric members; A first height
measurement unit is provided at one or both ends of at least one axis of the common electrode
layer on the side surface of the common electrode layer along the arrangement direction of the
plurality of piezoelectric members, Bonding the acoustic matching layer to a position not
interfering with the first height measurement unit on the surface on the inspection side, and
measuring the height of the first height measurement unit after bonding the acoustic matching
layer; Based on the measurement results, the cutting depth of the dividing means for dividing the
acoustic matching layer corresponding to each of the piezoelectric members To control, a
manufacturing method characterized by comprising the steps.
[0024]
When a second acoustic matching layer is provided between the acoustic matching layer and the
piezoelectric body, in the step of bonding the common electrode layer, the common electrode
layer is the object side of the second acoustic matching layer. Bonded to the surface of
[0025]
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In addition to the step of forming the first height measuring portion, the step of providing a
second height measuring portion on the surface of the electrode layer of the piezoelectric body
corresponding to the first height measuring portion is further added In this case, in the step of
measuring the height of the first height measuring unit, the heights of both the first and second
height measuring units are measured, and the cut depth of the dividing means In the step of
controlling the cutting depth, the depth of cut can be controlled based on the measurement
results of the first and second height measurement units.
At this time, in the case where a second acoustic matching layer is provided between the acoustic
matching layer and the piezoelectric body, the second height measurement unit corresponds to
the test object side of the second acoustic matching layer. Provided on the surface of
[0026]
In the step of measuring the height of the measuring unit, the height can be measured directly
using a dividing means for dividing the acoustic matching layer.
[0027]
In the step of dividing the acoustic matching layer, the cutting depth of the dividing means at the
time of dividing the acoustic matching layer by cutting into the acoustic matching layer from the
test object side is approximately the height of the first height measurement unit In the case
where the height of the second height measurement unit is measured, the depth of cut may be
greater than the height of the first height measurement unit, and the second height measurement
may be performed. It can be shallower than the height of the club.
[0028]
When the ultrasonic probe is formed in a two-dimensional array, any one of two axes on the side
surface of the common electrode layer along the orthogonal two directions in which the plurality
of piezoelectric members are arranged. Preferably, a first height measurement unit is provided at
one or both ends.
Preferably, the second height measurement unit is further formed at a position corresponding to
the first height measurement unit.
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[0029]
According to another aspect of the present invention, there are provided a plurality of
piezoelectric members for transmitting and receiving ultrasonic waves to and from a test object
or the like, a common electrode layer provided on the test object side of the piezoelectric
members, and a subject of the common electrode layer. The present invention relates to an
ultrasonic probe including an acoustic matching layer provided on an inspection side, which is
manufactured by any of the manufacturing methods described above.
[0030]
Yet another aspect according to the present invention relates to an ultrasonic diagnostic
apparatus or an ultrasonic flaw detector using the ultrasonic probe.
[0031]
By the implementation of the method of manufacturing an ultrasonic probe according to the
present invention, it is possible to reliably divide the acoustic matching layer, and it becomes
possible to manufacture an ultrasonic probe with a wide directivity, and erroneously the common
electrode As a result of avoiding division into layers, it is possible to always maintain a stable
driving state and receiving state, and to manufacture an ultrasonic probe without causing
characteristic deterioration such as variation in sensitivity.
[0032]
The ultrasonic probe manufactured by the manufacturing method according to the present
invention has the characteristics as described above, and as a result, it is accurate in an
ultrasonic diagnostic apparatus and an ultrasonic flaw detector using the ultrasonic probe. It is
possible to carry out diagnosis and nondestructive testing.
[0033]
Hereinafter, a method of manufacturing an ultrasonic probe according to a first embodiment of
the present invention will be described with reference to the drawings.
In the following description, the same components as those described in the prior art are denoted
by the same reference numerals, and in the following, differences from the prior art will be
mainly described.
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1 (a) to 1 (d) show a method of manufacturing an ultrasonic probe according to the present
embodiment, and each procedure of this manufacturing method will be described below based on
the drawings.
[0034]
First, in FIG. 1A, the piezoelectric body 11 in which the electrode layers 17 a and 17 b are
formed on the upper and lower surfaces is fixed to the holding member 14.
The figure is viewed from one side, and in the case of a one-dimensional array, the piezoelectric
bodies 11 are arranged as such, but in the case of a two-dimensional array, the piezoelectric
bodies 11 are similarly arranged in the direction perpendicular to the figure. It is done.
A separate drive electric terminal (not shown) is connected to the lower electrode layer 17b of
the piezoelectric body 11, and penetrates the inside of the holding member 14 to be connected
to the ultrasonic diagnostic apparatus or the main body of the ultrasonic flaw detection
apparatus. ing.
A constant gap (for example, several tens of μm) is provided between adjacent piezoelectric
bodies 11, and acoustic coupling between them, so-called crosstalk, is interrupted.
[0035]
A common electrode layer 16 is disposed on the upper surfaces of the plurality of piezoelectric
bodies 11, and fixed by, for example, a conductive adhesive.
The common electrode layer 16 is made of, for example, a resin-coated copper foil in which a
metal thin film such as copper foil and a resin such as polyimide are integrated, and the electrode
layers 17 a on the top surface of the respective piezoelectric bodies 11 are electrically connected
in common. There is.
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11
The thickness of the common electrode layer 16 is generally several tens of μm.
A masking material 18 is attached to the upper surface of the common electrode layer 16 located
on both ends of the array of the piezoelectric members 11 and to be a height measurement
portion later.
The masking material 18 may be, for example, a tape such as polytetrafluoroethylene tape or
polyimide tape, or a temporary adhesive that can be removed later, and covers the surface of the
common electrode layer 16. Play a role.
In the illustrated example, a pair of masking members 18 is disposed at both ends in the leftright direction, but in the case of a two-dimensional array, a pair of masking members 18 is
similarly disposed at both ends in the direction perpendicular to the drawing. It is desirable to be
done.
[0036]
Turning now to FIG. 1 (b), the acoustic matching layer 12 is disposed between the masking
materials 18 at both ends of the common electrode layer 16 and pressure bonded using, for
example, an adhesive.
During this pressure bonding, excess adhesive may flow out to the upper surface of the common
electrode layer 16. However, since the masking material 18 is disposed, even if the adhesive
adheres to the masking material 18, the adhesive does not adhere to the surface portion of the
common electrode layer 16 covered with the masking material 18.
[0037]
Next, in FIG. 1C, the masking material 18 is removed, and the height measurement portion 19 of
the surface of the common electrode layer 16 is exposed. Due to the action of the masking
material 18, as described above, the height measurement unit 19 is not attached with an
adhesive or the like, and the surface of the common electrode layer 16 itself is exposed. The
height confirmation unit 21 abuts on the height measurement unit 19 and the surface height of
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the common electrode layer 16 is measured.
[0038]
In the manufacture of the ultrasonic probe 10, it is always necessary to measure the thickness of
all members used in advance, and the height of the surface of the common electrode layer 16 is
calculated from the measured value. Is not impossible. However, when the acoustic matching
layer 12 is pressure-bonded, the thickness of each layer constituting the ultrasound probe 10
may change, for example, the holding member 14 may be deformed. In addition, due to
variations in the dimensions of each element such as variations in the thickness of the common
electrode layer 16 and inclinations, etc., the actual height can be calculated from the height
calculated based on the thickness measurement results of the respective members described
above There is a high possibility of coming off. Therefore, it is effective to measure the surface
height of the common electrode layer 16 after the pressure bonding step and utilize this for the
division processing of the acoustic matching layer 12.
[0039]
At this time, it is necessary to form the height measuring unit 19 in advance so that the adhesion
of foreign substances such as adhesive can be prevented by the masking material 18 in advance
and the surface of the common electrode layer 16 can be measured. It is important to do. The
height measurement portion 19 can be formed simply and easily while minimizing the increase
in the number of manufacturing steps by removing and exposing the masking material 18 from
the surface protected by the masking material 18 I assume. The height confirmation means 21
can use a height gauge or the like calibrated based on a predetermined reference surface such as
a surface plate, and accurate height measurement is possible.
[0040]
In FIG. 1C, the height confirmation unit 21 is displayed only on the height measurement unit 19
on the left side, but the height measurement unit 19 positioned on the right side also measures
the height of the common electrode layer 16 in the same manner. It is preferable in that the
inclination can be confirmed. However, even using the measurement result of only one height
measurement unit 19 can improve the accuracy much more than the prior art. Furthermore, in
the case of a two-dimensional array, it is preferable to measure similarly in a height measuring
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unit (not shown) provided in a direction perpendicular to the drawing orthogonal to this, and also
in this case, measuring at two points preferable.
[0041]
Next, in FIG. 1 (d), according to the height measured in the stage of FIG. 1 (c), for example, the
processing height (cut depth) of dividing means such as a dicing saw is controlled to obtain the
acoustic matching layer 12 Implement the division process of Under the present circumstances,
when inclination is recognized by the common electrode layer 16 between height measurement
part 19 on either side, correction | amendment is added for every processing position of a dicing
saw according to the inclination. The same applies to the case where inclinations at four
measurement positions are recognized in the two-dimensional array. By controlling the dividing
means based on the actual measurement value of the common electrode layer 16 as described
above, it is possible to reliably divide only the acoustic matching layer 12 without dividing the
common electrode layer 16.
[0042]
Basically, only the acoustic matching layer 12 is divided by making the cutting depth of the
dividing means such as a dicing saw at the time of processing coincide with the measurement
height of the height measurement unit 19 (including correction due to left and right inclination). ,
The common electrode layer 16 can be completely left. However, in consideration of the
processing height accuracy of the dividing means, the surface height of the common electrode
layer 16 is set to be slightly lower (the cut is deeper) than the surface height of the common
electrode layer 16 is measured. . As a result, a more reliable division of the acoustic matching
layer 12 is obtained, and an arrangement in which the acoustic coupling between the adjacent
piezoelectric transducers 20 is eliminated is formed.
[0043]
At the stage shown in FIG. 1C, as an alternative to the height confirmation means 21, for
example, using a processing tool actually used as a dividing means, such as a dicing blade in a
dicing saw, directly contact the processing tool with the height measuring unit 19 It is also
possible to shift to the division processing of FIG. 1 (d) as it is after measuring the height.
Thereby, the influence of the error at the time of height measurement and the processing height
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accuracy of the dividing means can be eliminated, and more reliable division processing can be
performed.
[0044]
The height measurement unit 19 can be used not only for the purpose of measuring the height
described above, but also for confirming the reference height of the processing tool or as a trial
cutting unit for confirming the processing groove width. Can be effectively used to perform
accurate division processing.
[0045]
Although the configuration in which the common electrode layer 16 is provided on the surface of
the electrode layer 17a of the piezoelectric body 11 has been described in the present
embodiment, as shown in FIGS. 2A and 2B, the acoustic matching layer 12 has two layers. (12a,
12b), a material having conductivity such as graphite is used as the material of the first acoustic
matching layer 12a and fixed while making electrical connection with the electrode layer 17a on
the upper surface of the piezoelectric body 11, There is also a configuration in which the
common electrode layer 16 is disposed between the acoustic matching layer 12a and the other
acoustic matching layer 12b on the test object side.
Even in this case, the same effect can be obtained by arranging the masking material 18 so as to
form the height measurement unit 19 on the upper surface of the common electrode layer 16 as
well.
[0046]
As another aspect in the present embodiment, it is possible to protect the height measurement
unit 19 by other measures without using the masking material 18. The purpose of using the
masking material 18 is to prevent foreign matter or the like from adhering to the height
measurement unit 19 and thereby disturbing the height measurement. Among them, the main
purpose is to prevent the adhesion of the adhesive flowing out when the acoustic matching layer
12 is adhered to the common electrode layer 4. Generally, a thermosetting adhesive is used to
bond the acoustic matching layer 12, but there is a risk that it temporarily fluidizes when heated
and flows out to the height measurement unit 19. Therefore, if such fluidization of the adhesive
can be avoided, the masking material 18 may be unnecessary.
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[0047]
One aspect for this is the use of an adhesive that resists fluidization. Specifically, it is to use an
adhesive capable of securing a certain viscosity even at the time of heating, and in addition to
this, for example, an adhesive formed in a film shape is disposed on the acoustic matching layer
and used. But it can prevent the outflow of the adhesive. In still another embodiment, a groove or
convex enclosure is provided around the common electrode layer 16 (the periphery outside the
position where the acoustic matching layer 12 is bonded), and the outflow of the adhesive is
stopped to prevent the enclosure. The adhesive adhesion to the height measurement unit 19
located outside the sensor can be avoided. In any of the embodiments, if the protrusion of the
adhesive to the height measurement unit 19 is avoided, the common electrode layer 16 is
completely the same as that described in the previous embodiment without using the masking
material 18. The height of the acoustic matching layer 12 can be accurately measured.
[0048]
Next, a method of manufacturing an ultrasonic probe according to a second embodiment of the
present invention will be described with reference to the drawings. FIGS. 3 (a) and 3 (b) show the
method of manufacturing the ultrasonic probe according to the present embodiment, and both
the figures correspond to the steps shown in FIGS. 1 (b) and 1 (c), respectively. doing.
[0049]
In FIG. 3A, the basic configuration of the ultrasonic probe 10 is the same as that of the previous
embodiment, and the piezoelectric body 11 in which the pair of electrode layers 17 (17a, 17b)
are disposed is on the holding member 14 The common electrode layer 16 is bonded on the
piezoelectric body 11 and the acoustic matching layer 12 is mounted thereon. In the present
embodiment, in addition to the masking material 18 being attached on the common electrode
layer 16, the masking material 18a is attached on the electrode layer 17a on the surface of the
piezoelectric body 11 to which the common electrode layer 16 is bonded. . In this state, the
acoustic matching layer 12 is pressurized and bonded onto the common electrode layer 16 using,
for example, a conductive adhesive.
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16
[0050]
Next, in FIG. 3 (b), all the masking materials 18 and 18 a are removed, and the first height
measuring unit 19 is formed on the surface of the common electrode layer 16. The two height
measurement units 19a are exposed. The adhesive flowing out at the time of bonding by the
action of the masking material 18, 18a adheres to the underlying common electrode layer 16
and the electrode layer 17a of the piezoelectric body 11 although it may adhere to the masking
material 18, 18a. However, the respective surfaces of the common electrode layer 16 and the
electrode layer 17a are themselves exposed.
[0051]
The heights of the first and second height measuring portions 19 and 19a formed on the surface
of the electrode layer 17a and the surface of the common electrode layer 16 are, for example,
heights of height gauges as shown in FIG. 3 (b). It is measured using means 21. Subsequently,
based on the measured height, the processing height (cut depth) of a division processing
apparatus such as a dicing saw is set to divide the acoustic matching layer 12 and form an array
of piezoelectric vibrators 20. . In FIG. 3B, although the measurement by the height measurement
means 21 is displayed only on the left side, it is preferable to measure similarly on the right side
of the drawing.
[0052]
For example, if the height of the common electrode layer 4 in the first height measurement unit
19 is grasped by measuring the thickness of the common electrode layer 16 alone in advance,
the second height measurement unit 19 a The height of is also convertible. However, the
common electrode layer 16 is heated and pressurized at the stage of the bonding step, and the
thickness of the common electrode layer 16 varies, so that the previously measured values can
not always be used as they are. In particular, when the acoustic matching layer 12 is divided, the
dividing means is further deeply cut to partially cut the common electrode layer 16 as well, the
second height measuring portion 19a on the electrode layer 17a side Measuring the height is
useful to know the limit of the incision.
[0053]
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Not only the acoustic matching layer 12 but also the connection portion of the common electrode
layer 16 can be used to suppress the acoustic coupling between the adjacent vibrators 20 due to
the common electrode layer 16 being integrally connected and to improve the directivity. It is
preferable to make it as thin as possible. In particular, when a copper foil with resin integrated
with a resin such as polyimide is used as the common electrode layer 16, it is more preferable to
divide the resin portion leaving only the copper foil portion. In such a case, if the height of the
electrode 17b of the piezoelectric body 11 is also measured in addition to the height of the
common electrode layer 16, an optimal cutting amount of the dividing means is arbitrarily
selected between the two measured heights. As a result, it is possible to obtain the ultrasonic
probe 10 which minimizes the crosstalk between the piezoelectric transducers 20 while avoiding
the cutting of the common electrode layer 16.
[0054]
By measuring the height at two points on the left and right, or at two points in the direction
orthogonal to the two-dimensional array, it is possible to make corrections based on the
inclination of the measuring unit and height control with higher accuracy That is the same as the
previous embodiment.
[0055]
As shown in FIGS. 4A and 4B, also in the present embodiment, in the case where the acoustic
matching layer 12 is configured to have two layers (12a and 12b), the acoustic matching layer
12a of the first layer is The masking materials 18 and 18a can be disposed to form the first and
second height measurement portions 19 and 19a on both the upper surface and the surface of
the common electrode layer 16.
[0056]
As mentioned above, although the manufacturing method of the ultrasonic probe of each
embodiment concerning the present invention has been explained, the ultrasonic probe produced
by these manufacturing methods has a wide division of the acoustic matching layer with
certainty The connection state of the common electrode layer is good, and reliable conduction
can always be ensured.
For this reason, stable characteristics can be maintained without characteristic degradation such
as variations in sensitivity due to maintenance of a stable driving condition and reception
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18
condition.
The present invention also covers an ultrasonic probe manufactured by the manufacturing
method according to each of the above-described embodiments. According to the ultrasonic
probe, when the acoustic matching layer is surely divided and the division is further cut into the
common electrode layer, the cut depth of each common electrode layer is uniformly formed. It
has a feature.
[0057]
Further, according to the present ultrasonic probe, the height measurement unit is a place
without the acoustic matching layer, or at least a part of the acoustic matching layer does not
exist. It is located at the outer peripheral part. Therefore, even if acoustic or electrical crosstalk
occurs and the piezoelectric material at the outermost peripheral portion is driven, the formation
of the height measurement unit generates unnecessary sound. The effect of being suppressed is
obtained.
[0058]
The present invention further includes an ultrasonic diagnostic apparatus using an ultrasonic
probe manufactured by the manufacturing method according to the present invention, and an
ultrasonic flaw detector. FIG. 5 shows an outline of the ultrasonic diagnostic apparatus. In the
figure, in the ultrasonic diagnostic apparatus 50, the ultrasonic probe 10 described in each
embodiment is electrically connected to the diagnostic apparatus main body 30 via a cable 25.
The ultrasonic probe 10 is applied to the surface of the test object 15, and a drive signal of a
voltage pulse is sent from the diagnostic device body 30 to the ultrasonic probe 10. The drive
signal is transmitted to the piezoelectric body 11 via the electrode 17 (see FIG. 1) of the
ultrasound probe 10 and converted to ultrasound. The ultrasonic wave transmitted to the test
object 15 is reflected inside the body, and a part of the reflection echo is received by the
piezoelectric body 11. Here, the reflected wave is converted into an electric signal and input to
the ultrasonic diagnostic apparatus main body 30. The input reception signal is subjected to
signal processing by the ultrasonic diagnostic apparatus main body 30, and is output to a display
device 35 such as a CRT as a tomographic image, for example.
[0059]
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Further, FIG. 6 shows an outline of the ultrasonic flaw detector. In the figure, the ultrasonic flaw
detection apparatus 60 includes a flaw detection apparatus main body 40 and an ultrasonic
probe 10 electrically connected to the flaw detection apparatus via a cable 25. The configuration
of the ultrasound probe according to the embodiment is provided. Also in this case, similarly, the
ultrasonic probe 10 is applied to the surface of the test object 15, and a drive signal of an electric
pulse is transmitted from the flaw detection apparatus main body 40 to the ultrasonic probe 10.
This drive signal is converted into ultrasonic waves, transmitted to the test object 15, reflected by
a flaw or defect inside the test object 15, and a part of the reflected wave is received by the
ultrasonic probe 10. Ru. This is converted into an electrical signal (received signal) and input to
the flaw detection apparatus main body 40. The input reception signal is subjected to signal
processing by the flaw detection apparatus main body 40, and is displayed on a display device
35 such as a CRT as a tomographic image, for example.
[0060]
As described above, by using the ultrasonic probe manufactured by the manufacturing method
described in each embodiment, the merit that the directivity and stability of transmission and
reception of ultrasonic waves are good is exhibited, and the accuracy High diagnosis or
nondestructive testing can be performed.
[0061]
As mentioned in the specification, in the method of manufacturing an ultrasonic probe according
to the present invention, there is provided a one-dimensional array ultrasonic transducer of a
type in which piezoelectric transducers are arranged in a predetermined direction; In addition to
the above, the present invention can be applied to any two-dimensional array ultrasonic
transducer of a type in which the piezoelectric transducers are arranged also in the direction
orthogonal to this.
The ultrasonic probe manufactured by the manufacturing method according to the present
invention includes both the ultrasonic probe of the one-dimensional array and the twodimensional array.
[0062]
INDUSTRIAL APPLICABILITY The ultrasonic probe according to the present invention can be
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20
used in various medical fields where ultrasonic diagnosis of an object such as a human body is
performed, and further in an industrial field aiming at internal flaw detection of an object such as
a material or a structure. It is.
[0063]
It is explanatory drawing which shows the manufacturing method of the ultrasound probe of
embodiment concerning this invention.
It is explanatory drawing which shows the other aspect of the manufacturing method of the
ultrasound probe shown in FIG. It is explanatory drawing which shows the manufacturing
method of the ultrasound probe of other embodiment concerning this invention. It is explanatory
drawing which shows the other aspect of the manufacturing method of the ultrasound probe
shown in FIG. It is the schematic which shows the ultrasound diagnostic apparatus using the
ultrasound probe manufactured by the manufacturing method of the ultrasound probe
concerning this invention. BRIEF DESCRIPTION OF THE DRAWINGS It is the schematic which
shows the ultrasonic flaw detection apparatus using the ultrasonic probe manufactured by the
manufacturing method of the ultrasonic probe concerning this invention. It is a schematic
perspective view which shows the structure of the ultrasound probe by a prior art. It is
explanatory drawing which shows the manufacturing method of the ultrasonic probe by a prior
art. It is a perspective view which shows the two-dimensional array ultrasonic probe
manufactured by the manufacturing method shown in FIG.
Explanation of sign
[0064]
10. Ultrasonic probe, 11. Piezoelectric body, 12. Acoustic matching layer, 13. Acoustic lens,
14. Holding members, 15. An examination subject, Common electrode layers, 17a, 17b. Electrode
layer, 18, 18a. Masking material 19, 19a. 20. Height measurement unit Piezoelectric vibrator, 21.
Height confirmation means, 25. ケーブル、 30. Diagnostic device main body, 35. Display
device, 40. 50. A flaw detector main body, 50. 60. ultrasonic diagnostic apparatus; Ultrasonic
flaw detector.
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