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DESCRIPTION JP2008079909

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DESCRIPTION JP2008079909
An object of the present invention is to prevent a circuit element from being damaged while
realizing miniaturization of an ultrasonic probe and high density mounting of the circuit element.
Kind Code: A1 An ultrasonic transducer array having a plurality of ultrasonic transducers for
transmitting ultrasonic waves according to an applied drive signal and receiving ultrasonic waves
and generating received signals, and an integrated circuit having a plurality of wiring patterns. In
an ultrasonic probe having a mounted substrate, a recess is formed in the substrate, an ultrasonic
transducer array is disposed on a backing material, and the ultrasonic transducer array and the
backing material are recessed in the substrate. It is characterized in that it is inserted into the
[Selected figure] Figure 7A.
Ultrasonic transducer and ultrasonic imaging apparatus
[0001]
The present invention relates to an ultrasonic probe including a plurality of ultrasonic
transducers that transmit and / or receive ultrasonic waves. Furthermore, the present invention
relates to an ultrasonic imaging apparatus for medical or structural flaw detection, which is
configured by such an ultrasonic probe and a main body device.
[0002]
Conventionally, in an ultrasonic probe (probe) for obtaining image information by transmitting
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and receiving ultrasonic waves, a plurality of elements (ultrasound transducers) using a
piezoelectric body such as PZT (lead zirconate titanate) It was common to use a one-dimensional
sensor array arranged in a dimensional manner. Furthermore, a two-dimensional image is
obtained by mechanically moving such a one-dimensional sensor array, and a three-dimensional
image is obtained by combining a plurality of two-dimensional images.
[0003]
However, according to this method, since there is a time lag in the moving direction of the onedimensional sensor array, cross-sectional images at different times are to be synthesized, and the
synthesized image becomes blurred. Therefore, it is not suitable for a subject that targets a living
body as in the case of performing ultrasonic echo observation in ultrasonic diagnostic medicine.
[0004]
Therefore, in recent years, ultrasonic waves are electrically steered using a two-dimensional
sensor array in which elements for transmitting and receiving ultrasonic waves are twodimensionally arranged, and by using a method such as dynamic focusing also in the depth
direction, Attempts have been made to improve the quality of ultrasound images.
[0005]
By using a two-dimensional sensor array, high-quality three-dimensional images can be obtained
without mechanically moving the sensor array.
In order to put the ultrasound probe having such a two-dimensional sensor array into practical
use, it is necessary to highly integrate a large number of elements and to transmit and receive
signals between those elements and the ultrasonic imaging apparatus main body. is necessary.
[0006]
Further, in the medical field, for example, a catheter type ultrasound probe inserted into a blood
vessel is also realized, which is useful for diagnosis of arteriosclerosis and the like. Thus, in the
catheter type ultrasonic probe and ultrasonic endoscope which are inserted into a patient's body
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and used, miniaturization of the ultrasonic probe is required.
[0007]
Furthermore, in medical ultrasonic probes, temperature control circuits such as temperature
sensors and Peltier elements are used to ensure the safety of the patient against heat generation
in ultrasonic probes and to prevent performance deterioration due to heat generation. Mounting
is also considered, and high-density mounting of circuit elements is required. Therefore, various
techniques have been developed in order to realize miniaturization of the ultrasonic probe and
high density mounting of circuit elements.
[0008]
As related art, in Patent Document 1 below, a probe main body for inserting into a small cavity
having a size close to a coronary artery of a human body, an array of transducer elements
mounted on the probe main body, and a probe main body Means in close proximity to the array
of transducer elements, receiving the electrical signals from the array of transducer elements,
without causing significant loss of imaging information, in the cable An imaging device is
disclosed that includes means for converting to be transmitted along at least one channel and
that produces an available image in response to detection of ultrasound reflections. According to
this imaging device, the number of cables for connecting the catheter type probe and the imaging
device main body can be reduced.
[0009]
However, as shown in FIG. 7 of Patent Document 1, since the array of transducer elements and
the integrated circuit chip are mounted at different positions on the probe body, the
miniaturization of the ultrasonic probe is sufficient. It is difficult to say that it has been achieved.
[0010]
Further, in Patent Document 2 below, an ultrasonic probe having a back load material, a
composite piezoelectric material, and a matching layer, a silicon substrate integrated with the
ultrasonic probe, and a silicon substrate are provided. An electrical circuit integrated type
composite piezoelectric ultrasonic probe having an electrical circuit mounted thereon is
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disclosed.
In Patent Document 2, a part of a silicon substrate is subjected to etching processing, and a
piezoelectric body is cast and fired using the etched silicon substrate as a mold to produce an
ultrasonic probe of a fine structure. By forming an electric circuit on the remaining surface of the
silicon substrate, it is described that an ultrasonic probe integrated with the electric circuit can
be manufactured.
[0011]
However, in the case of forming an integrated circuit on a silicon substrate on which a
piezoelectric element is formed, a temperature of about 500 ° C. or more is required for forming
an insulating film, dopant diffusion, or electrode when forming the integrated circuit. Is required.
Therefore, the problem that the epoxy resin etc. which are used for the piezoelectric element will
be damaged by the temperature is considered. On the other hand, when forming a piezoelectric
element on a silicon substrate on which an integrated circuit is formed, a temperature of about
1000 ° C. is required to sinter the piezoelectric powder. Therefore, there is considered a
problem that a transistor or the like constituting the integrated circuit is damaged by the
temperature.
[0012]
Furthermore, in Patent Document 3 below, a semiconductor wafer on which transistors and the
like are formed, a piezoelectric vibrator having one signal electrode connected to a buried layer
exposed to the substrate side of the wafer, and a matrix array An ultrasonic probe is disclosed
that includes an element IC created corresponding to the transducer pitch, and a control circuit
and an adder circuit for driving the element IC. According to Patent Document 3, the wafer on
which the electronic circuit is formed is attached on the signal electrode of the piezoelectric
vibrator via the conductive adhesive, so that the piezoelectric vibrator and the electronic circuit
are in one-to-one correspondence. It is stated that the need for wiring can be eliminated.
[0013]
However, since the piezoelectric vibrator is formed immediately below the integrated circuit,
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when driving the piezoelectric vibrator, vibration may be directly transmitted to the integrated
circuit, and as a result, the integrated circuit may be damaged. Therefore, it is considered that
practicality and reliability are low. JP-A-2-502078 (page 1, FIG. 7) JP-A-2000-298119 (pages 2,
4; FIG. 1) JP-A-5-103397 (page 2, FIG. 2)
[0014]
Then, in view of the above-mentioned point, an object of the present invention is to prevent
breakage of a circuit element while realizing miniaturization of an ultrasonic probe and high
density mounting of the circuit element.
[0015]
In order to solve the above-mentioned subject, an ultrasound probe concerning one viewpoint of
the present invention transmits an ultrasonic wave according to an applied drive signal, receives
a ultrasonic wave, and generates a plurality of reception signals. In an ultrasonic probe
comprising an ultrasonic transducer array having a transducer and a substrate having a plurality
of wiring patterns and on which an integrated circuit is mounted, a recess is formed in the
substrate, and the ultrasonic transducer array is The ultrasonic transducer array and the backing
material are disposed on the backing material, and are characterized by being inserted into the
recess of the substrate.
[0016]
According to the present invention, the ultrasonic transducer array and the backing material are
inserted into the recess of the substrate, thereby achieving the miniaturization of the ultrasonic
probe and the high density mounting of the circuit element, and the breakage of the circuit
element. It can be prevented.
[0017]
The best mode for carrying out the present invention will be described in detail below with
reference to the drawings.
The same reference numerals are given to the same components, and the description will be
omitted.
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FIG. 1 is a view showing an example of the configuration of an ultrasound probe according to a
first embodiment of the present invention.
The ultrasonic probe 1 is, for example, a catheter type ultrasonic probe inserted into the patient's
body, and is connected to the external ultrasonic imaging apparatus main body via a plurality of
cables. Be done. As shown in FIG. 1, the drive signal and the reception signal transmitted and
received between the ultrasonic imaging apparatus main body and the ultrasonic probe 1 are
transmitted using a coaxial cable, and the ultrasonic imaging apparatus main body The control
signal transmitted to the probe 1 is transmitted using a single-wire cable.
[0018]
The ultrasound probe 1 includes a plurality of impedance matching circuits 2 connected to a
plurality of input / output terminals, a plurality of multiplexers (switching circuits) 3 connected
to the impedance matching circuits 2 respectively, and Each set of transducers (ultrasound
transducers) 11 connected to the multiplexer 3 is included.
[0019]
The plurality of sets of transducers 11 included in the ultrasound probe 1 are arranged in a onedimensional or two-dimensional manner to constitute an ultrasound transducer array.
Each transducer 11 generates an ultrasonic wave based on a drive signal supplied from the
ultrasonic imaging apparatus main body, and transmits the ultrasonic wave toward the subject.
Each transducer 11 receives the ultrasonic echo reflected by the subject and outputs a reception
signal to the ultrasonic imaging apparatus main body. The detailed structure of the vibrator 11
will be described later.
[0020]
For example, as shown in FIGS. 2A to 2D, the impedance matching circuit 2 is a circuit configured
by at least one of an inductance, a resistor, and a capacitor, and the characteristic impedance of
the coaxial cable in each signal path. By matching the impedance of the vibrator 11 with the
impedance of the vibrator 11, the transmission efficiency of the signal can be improved. In FIG. 1,
although the impedance matching circuit 2 is connected between the coaxial cable and the
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multiplexer 3, the impedance matching circuit 2 is connected between the multiplexer 3 and the
vibrator 11. Also good.
[0021]
In the impedance matching circuit shown in FIG. 2A, the inductance L and the resistance R are
connected in parallel to the vibrator via the multiplexer 3. The coaxial cable is terminated by the
resistor R since these impedances become maximal at the resonant frequency of the transducer
capacitance and the inductance L. Therefore, by setting the value of the resistance R close to the
value of the characteristic impedance of the coaxial cable, it is possible to achieve impedance
matching at the resonant frequency and prevent signal reflection at the end of the coaxial cable.
Further, the impedance matching circuit shown in FIG. 2B is a simplification of the impedance
matching circuit shown in FIG. 2A, and the resistor R is connected in parallel to the vibrator via
the multiplexer 3.
[0022]
In the impedance matching circuit shown in FIG. 2C, a series circuit of an inductance L, a
capacitor C and a resistor R is connected in parallel to the vibrator via the multiplexer 3. The
capacitor C is inserted in order to prevent the flow of the DC component into the ultrasonic
probe 1 when adjusting the resonance frequency or when a DC component is applied from the
drive circuit of the ultrasonic imaging apparatus main body.
[0023]
In the impedance matching circuit shown in FIG. 2D, a series circuit of an inductance L1 and an
inductance L2 is connected in series to the vibrator via the multiplexer 3 and between the
connection point of the inductance L1 and the inductance L2 and the ground terminal. ,
Capacitor C is connected. Besides the above, various impedance matching circuits can be used.
[0024]
Referring again to FIG. 1, the multiplexer 3 selects one of the transducers 11 of one set (four in
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FIG. 1) based on the control signal supplied from the ultrasonic imaging apparatus main body. ,
Connected to the ultrasonic imaging apparatus main body via a coaxial cable. By using the
multiplexer 3, it is possible to reduce the number of coaxial cables and to suppress an increase in
the overall size of the cable. However, since the four transducers 11 connected to one
multiplexer 3 can not operate at the same time, the transducers 11 connected to one multiplexer
3 are based on the transmission pattern and the reception pattern of ultrasonic waves. The
number and placement of are determined.
[0025]
FIG. 3 is a view showing another configuration example of the ultrasonic probe according to the
first embodiment of the present invention. In FIG. 3, an amplifier circuit (preamplifier) 4 is added
to the configuration shown in FIG. The amplification circuit 4 receives, via the multiplexer 3, a
reception signal generated by the transducer 11 receiving an ultrasonic wave, amplifies the
reception signal, and outputs the amplified reception signal to a coaxial cable for reception
signal. At that time, if the output impedance of the amplification circuit 4 is matched to the
characteristic impedance of the coaxial cable for the reception signal, impedance matching with
the coaxial cable can be achieved. The drive signal coaxial cable is separately provided, and the
impedance matching circuit 2 is connected between the drive signal coaxial cable and the
multiplexer 3.
[0026]
FIG. 4 is a view showing a state in which the ultrasonic probe shown in FIG. 1 or 3 and the
ultrasonic imaging apparatus main body are connected. As shown in FIG. 4, the ultrasound probe
1 is electrically connected to the ultrasound imaging apparatus main body 6 via a plurality of
cables 5. The cables 5 are coaxial cables for transmitting a plurality of drive signals and a
plurality of reception signals between the ultrasonic probe 1 and the ultrasonic imaging
apparatus main body 6, and for ultrasonic waves from the ultrasonic imaging apparatus main
body 6 It includes a single-wire cable for transmitting a control signal to be transmitted to the
probe 1, and is covered by a protective cable cover 5a.
[0027]
The ultrasonic imaging apparatus main body 6 includes a drive signal generation unit 61, a
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transmission / reception switching unit 62, a reception signal processing unit 63, an image
generation unit 64, a display unit 65, and a control unit 66. The drive signal generation unit 61
includes, for example, a plurality of drive circuits (pulsars and the like), and generates a plurality
of drive signals used to drive a plurality of ultrasonic transducers. The transmission / reception
switching unit 62 switches between the output of the drive signal to the ultrasound probe 1 and
the input of the reception signal from the ultrasound probe 1.
[0028]
The reception signal processing unit 63 includes, for example, a plurality of preamplifiers, a
plurality of A / D converters, a digital signal processing circuit or a CPU, and amplifies, phasing
and adding, for reception signals output from a plurality of ultrasonic transducers. It performs
predetermined signal processing such as detection. The image generation unit 64 generates
image data representing an ultrasound image based on the reception signal subjected to the
predetermined signal processing. The display unit 65 displays an ultrasonic image on the basis of
the image data generated as described above. In the above, the control unit 66 controls the
operation of the entire system, generates a control signal for controlling the operation of the
ultrasonic probe 1, and transmits the control signal to the ultrasonic probe 1 Do.
[0029]
FIG. 5 is a perspective view showing an internal structure of an ultrasonic element used in the
ultrasonic probe according to the first embodiment of the present invention. As shown in FIG. 5,
the ultrasonic element 10 is an acoustic matching layer 15 that enhances the propagation
efficiency of ultrasonic waves by matching the acoustic impedance between the plurality of
transducers 11 and the transducers 11 and the subject. And a backing material 16 for
attenuating unnecessary ultrasonic waves generated from those transducers 11. Each vibrator 11
is constituted by a piezoelectric body 12 which expands and contracts by the piezoelectric effect
to generate an ultrasonic wave, and a signal electrode 13 and a common electrode 14 formed at
both ends of the piezoelectric body 12. In general, the common electrode 14 is connected to the
ground potential.
[0030]
The ultrasonic element 10 further reduces interference between the plurality of transducers 11
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and suppresses the horizontal vibration of the transducers 11 to vibrate the transducers 11 only
in the longitudinal direction. A filler filled between 11 may be included. In addition, an acoustic
lens for focusing the ultrasonic wave may be included on the acoustic matching layer 15.
Furthermore, the acoustic matching layer 15 may have a multilayer structure in order to increase
the ultrasonic wave propagation efficiency.
[0031]
As a material of the piezoelectric body 12, a piezoelectric ceramic or a polymeric piezoelectric
material is used. In particular, the piezoelectric ceramic has a high electrical / mechanical energy
conversion capability, so it can generate ultrasonic waves that can reach deep parts of the body,
and also has high reception sensitivity. Specific materials include PZT (lead zirconate titanate: Pb
(Ti, Zr) O3), materials of modified composition having a similar perovskite-based crystal
structure, and materials generally referred to as relaxor-based materials, etc. Can be used.
[0032]
As a material of the acoustic matching layer 15, for example, a material in which a material
powder (tungsten, ferrite powder or the like) having high acoustic impedance is mixed with an
organic material such as epoxy resin, urethane resin, silicon, acrylic resin or the like is used.
Moreover, as a material of the backing material 16, an epoxy resin, rubber, etc. with large
acoustic attenuation are used.
[0033]
FIG. 6 is a perspective view showing the internal structure of the ultrasound probe according to
the first embodiment of the present invention. In the ultrasonic probe according to the present
embodiment, the ultrasonic element 10 and the integrated circuit 20 are mounted on a substrate
40 formed of a material containing glass epoxy resin, ceramic, or silicon. At least one wiring layer
is provided on the substrate 40, and a wiring pattern and lands for mounting components
(substrate electrodes) are formed.
[0034]
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The integrated circuit 20 may be formed as an IC chip, or may be formed as a hybrid IC in which
the IC chip and the chip component are mounted on a substrate such as ceramic. The integrated
circuit 20 incorporates at least one of the impedance matching circuit 2, the multiplexer 3, and
the amplifier circuit 4 shown in FIGS. 1 to 3 as necessary. The integrated circuit 20 may be
mounted on the side surface or the inside of the substrate 40.
[0035]
In the present embodiment, between the signal electrode 13 and the common electrode 14 and
the substrate 40 are connected by the flexible substrates 31 and 32, respectively, and drive
signals are output from the integrated circuit 20 to the signal electrode 13 and the common
electrode 14. The reception signal can be output to the integrated circuit 20 from the signal
electrode 13 and the common electrode 14. Furthermore, communication between the integrated
circuit 20 and the ultrasonic imaging apparatus main body is performed via the flexible substrate
33.
[0036]
The lands (substrate electrodes) of the flexible substrates 31 to 33 and the terminals of the
integrated circuit 20 are bonded to the lands on the substrate 40 using a functional bonding
material such as a conductive paste (for example, silver paste) or solder. Since the bonding
temperature at that time is about 200 ° C., the damage due to the temperature of the ultrasonic
element 10 and the integrated circuit 20 does not matter. Note that, instead of the flexible
substrates 31 and 32, the signal electrode 13 and the common electrode 14 may be connected to
the substrate 40 by wire bonding.
[0037]
As described above, by separately producing the ultrasonic element 10 and the integrated circuit
20 and mounting the ultrasonic element 10 and the integrated circuit 20 on the substrate 40, it
is possible to avoid the problem regarding the temperature required when producing the vibrator
and the IC chip. In addition, in the case where the vibrator is formed immediately above or
directly below the IC chip, the vibration when the vibrator transmits ultrasonic waves is directly
transmitted to the IC chip, which may cause damage to the IC chip. is there. However, in the
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present embodiment, the substrate 40 is interposed between the ultrasonic element 10 and the
integrated circuit 20, and the backing material 16 is interposed between the transducer 11 and
the substrate 40 (see FIG. 5). The integrated circuit 20 is not damaged.
[0038]
FIG. 7A is a perspective view showing the internal structure of an ultrasound probe according to
a second embodiment of the present invention, and FIG. 7B is a probe for ultrasound according to
the second embodiment of the present invention FIG. In the second embodiment, the recess 40 a
having an area slightly larger than the area of the main surface (front surface) of the ultrasonic
element 10 is formed in the substrate 40. The ultrasonic element 10 is inserted into the recess
40 a, and the common electrode 14 is positioned at a height substantially equal to the upper
surface of the substrate 40.
[0039]
The signal electrode 13 of the ultrasonic element 10 is connected to a land (substrate terminal)
41 formed on the substrate 40 via the flexible substrate 31. Further, the common electrode 14 of
the ultrasonic element 10 is connected to the ground line 42 formed on the substrate 40 by wire
bonding using the lead wire 34 at one or a plurality of places. The signal electrode 13 and the
substrate 40 may be connected by wire bonding instead of the flexible substrate 31. The other
points are the same as in the first embodiment shown in FIG.
[0040]
In the second embodiment, by inserting the ultrasonic element 10 into the recess 40 a formed in
the substrate 40, the main surfaces of the ultrasonic probe can be made substantially flush with
the ultrasonic probe The feeler can be further miniaturized. Further, when the ultrasonic element
10 is inserted into the recess 40a, the position of the common electrode 14 and the position of
the ground line 42 formed on the substrate 40 are aligned, so that the connection between the
common electrode 14 and the ground line 42 is easy. is there. Furthermore, since the bonding
strength between the ultrasonic element 10 and the substrate 40 can be increased, even if a
mechanical impact is applied to the ultrasonic probe, it becomes difficult for the ultrasonic
element 10 and the substrate 40 to separate.
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[0041]
Also in this embodiment, since the backing material 16 of the ultrasonic element 10 attenuates
unnecessary ultrasonic waves, the integrated circuit 20 is not damaged by the vibration
generated from the vibrator 11. In addition, when an epoxy resin is used as the material of the
substrate 40, the problem of vibration can be solved more effectively.
[0042]
FIG. 8A is a perspective view showing an internal structure of an ultrasound probe according to a
third embodiment of the present invention, and FIG. 8B is a probe for ultrasound according to the
third embodiment of the present invention FIG. In the third embodiment, a multilayer substrate
having a plurality of wiring layers is used as the substrate 40. In FIG. 8B, the first wiring layer 43
and the second wiring layer 45 are shown, and the wiring pattern of the first wiring layer 43 is
formed of the second wiring layer 45 through the through hole 44. Connected to the wiring
pattern.
[0043]
In the ultrasonic element 10, the signal electrode 13 is connected to an electrode terminal 17
formed on the back surface of the backing material 16 via a wiring pattern formed on the side
surface or the like of the backing material 16. The electrode terminal 17 is bonded to a land
(substrate terminal) formed in the first wiring layer 43 using a functional bonding material such
as conductive paste or solder, and the through holes 44 and the second wiring layer 45 are
further formed. Are connected to the integrated circuit 20 via the wiring pattern of FIG. Further,
the common electrode 14 of the ultrasonic element 10 and the ground line 42 formed on the
substrate 40 are connected by wire bonding using lead wires 34 at one or a plurality of places.
The other points are similar to those of the second embodiment shown in FIGS. 7A and 7B.
[0044]
In the third embodiment, in addition to the features described in the second embodiment, the
first wiring layer 43 formed on the substrate 40, the electrode terminal 17 formed on the bottom
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surface of the ultrasonic element 10, and the through Since connection to the integrated circuit
20 is made through the holes 44 and the second wiring layer 45, wiring is easy, and the
mounting area of circuit components such as an IC chip on the surface of the substrate 40 is
wider. It can be secured. In addition, when the ultrasonic element 10 is inserted into the recess
40 a of the substrate 40, the electrode terminal 17 of the ultrasonic element 10 and the land of
the substrate 40 naturally align, so positional deviation between them hardly occurs.
[0045]
FIG. 9 is a perspective view showing an internal structure of an ultrasound probe according to a
fourth embodiment of the present invention. In the fourth embodiment, the plurality of ultrasonic
elements 10 and the plurality of integrated circuits 20 are mounted on the substrate 40. The
plurality of ultrasonic elements 10 may have the same structure or different structures. The
other points are similar to those of the third embodiment shown in FIGS. 8A and 8B. As described
above, by mounting the plurality of ultrasonic elements 10 on the substrate 40, an ultrasonic
probe having a large number of transducers can be realized. As in the second embodiment shown
in FIGS. 7A and 7B, the plurality of ultrasonic elements 10 and the substrate 40 may be bonded
using the flexible substrate 31.
[0046]
FIG. 10 is a perspective view showing an internal structure of an ultrasound probe according to a
fifth embodiment of the present invention. In the fifth embodiment, two substrates 40 on which a
plurality of ultrasonic elements 10 and a plurality of integrated circuits 20 are mounted are
combined to form a three-dimensional structure. These substrates 40 are joined, for example, by
an adhesive. The other points are similar to those of the fourth embodiment shown in FIG.
[0047]
FIG. 11 is a side view of an ultrasonic probe according to a sixth embodiment of the present
invention. In the sixth embodiment, the recesses 40 a are formed on both sides of the substrate
40, and the plurality of ultrasonic elements 10 and the plurality of integrated circuits 20 are
mounted in the recesses 40 a. Furthermore, some integrated circuits 20 are mounted inside the
substrate 40. The mode of connection between the ultrasonic element 10 and the substrate 40 is
the same as that of the third embodiment shown in FIGS. 8A and 8B, but as in the second
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embodiment shown in FIGS. 7A and 7B, a flexible substrate The ultrasonic element 10 and the
substrate 40 may be connected by 31 and the lead wire 34.
[0048]
FIG. 12 is a side view of an ultrasound probe according to a seventh embodiment of the present
invention. In the seventh embodiment, the cross section of the substrate 40 is a polygon having a
pentagon or more, and the substrate 40 is a polyhedron having a heptahedron or more. An
octahedral substrate 40 is shown in FIG. 12, but in three of its faces, recesses 40a are formed.
Alternatively, the substrate 40 may have a curved surface, and the concave portion 40 a may be
formed on the curved surface. As a result, among the plurality of ultrasonic elements 10 attached
to the plurality of planes or the curved surface of the substrate 40, the main surfaces of the
plurality of transducers come to have different angles. Such a structure is suitable for
transmitting and receiving ultrasonic waves over a wide angular range. The mode of connection
between the ultrasonic element 10 and the substrate 40 is the same as that of the third
embodiment shown in FIGS. 8A and 8B, but as in the second embodiment shown in FIGS. 7A and
7B, a flexible substrate The ultrasonic element 10 and the substrate 40 may be connected by 31
and the lead wire 34.
[0049]
Furthermore, the fifth to seventh embodiments shown in FIGS. 10 to 12 may be combined. By
combining the fifth to seventh embodiments, the degree of freedom of the shape of the ultrasonic
probe can be expanded, and the shape adapted to various diagnostic points where the ultrasonic
probe is used is realized. be able to.
[0050]
FIG. 13 is a side view of an ultrasound probe according to an eighth embodiment of the present
invention. In the eighth embodiment, a plurality of recesses 40a to 40c are formed on the front
and back surfaces of the substrate 40, the ultrasonic element 10 is inserted into the recess 40a,
and the temperature sensor 21 is inserted into the recess 40b. The temperature control element
22 is inserted into the A plurality of electrode terminals are formed on the bottom surface of the
temperature sensor 21 and the temperature control element 22, and the electrode terminals are
bonded to the lands of the substrate 40 using a functional bonding material such as conductive
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paste or solder. There is. Further, an IC chip 23 in which peripheral circuits of the temperature
sensor 21 are integrated is mounted on the back surface (which may be the side surface or the
inside) of the substrate 40.
[0051]
In an ultrasound probe used for the human body, a temperature sensor or the like may be
mounted on the ultrasound probe in consideration of the safety of the patient due to the heat
generation of the ultrasound probe. In addition, in order to suppress the heat generation of the
ultrasonic probe, the temperature control element may be mounted on the ultrasonic probe. In
the present embodiment, the temperature sensor 21 and the temperature control element 22 are
provided in the ultrasound probe, but one of the temperature sensor 21 and the temperature
control element 22 may be provided.
[0052]
The temperature sensor 21 senses the internal temperature of the ultrasonic probe and outputs
temperature information to the IC chip 23. The circuit in the IC chip 23 transmits the input
temperature information to the ultrasonic imaging apparatus main body 6 shown in FIG. 4, and
the control unit 66 provided in the ultrasonic imaging apparatus main body 6 performs
ultrasonic wave detection. By restricting the transmission operation of the child to suppress heat
generation or operating the temperature control element 22 so as to cool the ultrasonic probe,
the safety of the patient can be secured. As the temperature control element 22, for example, a
heater or a Peltier element is used. There are also cases where such temperature control element
22 and temperature sensor 21 cooperate with each other.
[0053]
According to the present embodiment, by inserting and mounting the ultrasonic element 10, the
temperature sensor 21, and the temperature control element 22 in the concave portions 40a to
40c formed in the substrate 40, the heights of those parts can be increased. The ultrasonic probe
can be miniaturized because the position is substantially the same as the front surface or the
back surface of the substrate 40. In addition to the temperature sensor, for example, a CCD
(Charge Coupled Device) sensor, a thermo sensor, a pyroelectric sensor, an OCT (Optical
Coherence Tomography: optical coherence, etc.) according to the application of the ultrasonic
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probe A tomography sensor or the like may be provided.
[0054]
The present invention relates to an ultrasonic probe including a plurality of ultrasonic
transducers that transmit and / or receive ultrasonic waves, and a medical device or structure
configured of such an ultrasonic probe and a main device. It is possible to use in the ultrasonic
imaging device for object flaw detection.
[0055]
It is a figure which shows the structural example of the probe for ultrasonic waves which
concerns on the 1st Embodiment of this invention.
It is a figure which shows the 1st structural example of the impedance matching circuit in the
probe for ultrasonic waves concerning the 1st Embodiment of this invention. It is a figure
showing the 2nd example of composition of an impedance matching circuit in a probe for
ultrasonic waves concerning a 1st embodiment of the present invention. It is a figure which
shows the 3rd structural example of the impedance matching circuit in the probe for ultrasonic
waves concerning the 1st Embodiment of this invention. It is a figure which shows the 4th
structural example of the impedance matching circuit in the probe for ultrasonic waves
concerning the 1st Embodiment of this invention. It is a figure which shows the other structural
example of the probe for ultrasonic waves concerning the 1st Embodiment of this invention. FIG.
4 is a view showing a state in which the ultrasonic probe shown in FIG. 1 or 3 and an ultrasonic
imaging apparatus main body are connected. It is a perspective view which shows the internal
structure of the ultrasonic element used in the probe for ultrasonic waves concerning the 1st
Embodiment of this invention. It is a perspective view which shows the internal structure of the
probe for ultrasonic waves concerning the 1st Embodiment of this invention. It is a perspective
view which shows the internal structure of the probe for ultrasonic waves concerning the 2nd
Embodiment of this invention. It is sectional drawing of the probe for ultrasonic waves
concerning the 2nd Embodiment of this invention. It is a perspective view which shows the
internal structure of the probe for ultrasonic waves concerning the 3rd Embodiment of this
invention. It is sectional drawing of the probe for ultrasonic waves which concerns on the 3rd
Embodiment of this invention. It is a perspective view which shows the internal structure of the
probe for ultrasonic waves concerning the 4th Embodiment of this invention. It is a perspective
view which shows the internal structure of the probe for ultrasonic waves concerning the 5th
Embodiment of this invention. It is a side view of the probe for ultrasonic waves concerning a 6th
embodiment of the present invention. It is a side view of the probe for ultrasonic waves
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concerning a 7th embodiment of the present invention. It is a side view of the probe for
ultrasonic waves concerning the 8th embodiment of the present invention.
Explanation of sign
[0056]
Reference Signs List 1 ultrasonic probe 2 impedance matching circuit 3 multiplexer 4 amplifier
circuit 5 cable 5 a cable cover 6 ultrasonic imaging apparatus main body 10 ultrasonic element
11 vibrator 12 piezoelectric body 13 signal electrode 14 common electrode 15 acoustic
matching layer 16 backing material Reference Signs List 17 electrode terminal 21 temperature
sensor 22 temperature control element 23 IC chip 31 to 33 flexible substrate 34 lead wire 40
substrate 40a to 40c recessed portion 41 substrate terminal 42 ground line 43 first wiring layer
44 through hole 45 second wiring layer 61 driving Signal generation unit 62 Transmission /
reception switching unit 63 Reception signal processing unit 64 Image generation unit 65
Display unit 66 Control unit
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