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DESCRIPTION JP2010214118

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DESCRIPTION JP2010214118
A method and apparatus for using single crystal piezoelectric material in an ultrasound probe. A
method for forming an acoustic laminate (370) for an ultrasonic probe (106) comprises a single
crystal piece in which a single crystal piezoelectric material is partially separated by a plurality of
kerfs (242). Partially dicing to form 240). The single crystal piezoelectric material comprises a
carrier layer (256). The kerf (242) is filled with kerf filling material to form a single crystal
composite (246) and the carrier layer (256) is removed. At least one matching layer (280) is
attached to the single crystal composite (246) and dicing within the kerfs (242) is achieved to
separate the acoustic stack (370) from the single crystal composite (246). ) Is formed. [Selected
figure] Figure 5
Method and apparatus for using single crystal piezoelectric material in an ultrasound probe
[0001]
FIELD OF THE INVENTION The present invention relates generally to ultrasound probes, and
more particularly to acoustical laminates within ultrasound probes.
[0002]
A single crystal piezoelectric material can be used to form an acoustical laminate within the
ultrasound probe.
However, single crystal piezoelectric materials are very brittle and fragile materials that require
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specific conditions for handling. For example, this material always loses some piezoelectric
properties when it withstands high levels of strain, and is prone to material cracking, which may
propagate into the material structure and cause local changes in material properties. There is.
[0003]
Crack propagation as well as high levels of degradation can occur when the material is diced
without optimization conditions using a standard dicing saw. The optimization conditions include
fine adjustment of dicing parameters such as blade material, spindle rotational speed, feed rate
and the like. However, to produce an acoustical laminate for use in an ultrasound probe, the
piezoelectric material can be used to form a matching layer, a graphite based material or a bulk
loaded epoxy material, copper It needs to be laminated with or sandwiched by other layers of
material, such as flexible material embedded with traces, and / or one or more other very hard
materials. To achieve acceptable throughput, the dicing parameters when dicing laminated
materials can not be limited to the optimization conditions required by single crystal
piezoelectric materials due to different materials and total thickness. For example, manufacturing
costs increase as a result of optimization conditions requiring the feed rate to be significantly
reduced. In addition, blade materials optimized to dice single crystal piezoelectric material under
optimized dicing parameters may not be suitable for dicing laminated materials.
[0004]
U.S. Patent No. 6,798,717
[0005]
In one embodiment, a method for forming an acoustic laminate for an ultrasound probe partially
dicing a single crystal piezoelectric material to form a single crystal piece separated in part by a
plurality of kerfs. Including steps.
The single crystal piezoelectric material comprises a carrier layer. The kerf is filled with kerf
filling material to form a single crystal composite and the carrier layer is removed. At least one
matching layer is attached to the single crystal composite and dicing within the kerf is
accomplished to form a separate acoustic stack from the single crystal composite.
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[0006]
In another embodiment, an ultrasound probe comprises an array of elements comprising a
plurality of single crystal pieces separated by a first set of kerfs. At least one matching layer is
attached to one side of the single crystal piece and a flexible circuit is attached to the other side
of the single crystal piece. The at least one matching layer and the flexible circuit are separated
into pieces by a second set of kerfs formed in the first set of kerfs. The flexible circuit comprises
a trace configured to receive the signal and ground from the ultrasound system.
[0007]
In yet another embodiment, a method for forming an acoustic laminate for an ultrasound probe
comprises: forming a single crystal piezoelectric material in a first dicing operation forming a
first set of kerfs having a width. Partially includes dicing steps. At least one matching layer is
attached to one side of the single crystal piezoelectric material. A flexible circuit is attached to
the other surface of the single crystal piezoelectric material, and dicing within the first set of
kerfs is accomplished in a second dicing operation having a width smaller than the width of the
first set of kerfs Thus, separate acoustic laminates are formed.
[0008]
FIG. 1 illustrates an ultrasound system formed in accordance with an embodiment of the present
invention. FIG. 1 illustrates a 3D-compatible miniature ultrasound system having a probe that can
comprise a single crystal element and / or a single crystal composite element formed in
accordance with an embodiment of the present invention. FIG. 1 illustrates a mobile ultrasound
imaging system that can use a probe that may comprise a single crystal element and / or a single
crystal composite element formed in accordance with an embodiment of the present invention.
FIG. 1 illustrates a hand-held or pocket-sized ultrasound imaging system having a probe that may
comprise a single crystal element and / or a single crystal composite element formed in
accordance with an embodiment of the present invention. FIG. 6 illustrates a method for dicing
an acoustic stack that includes a single crystal in a piezoelectric layer, according to one
embodiment of the present invention. FIG. 5 is a top view of a single crystal piezoelectric material
maintained on a carrier layer after being partially diced in accordance with an embodiment of the
present invention. FIG. 6A is a plurality of views of a single crystal composite after the conductive
material has been applied in accordance with an embodiment of the present invention. FIG. 5
illustrates a matching layer immobilized to a single crystal composite in accordance with an
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embodiment of the present invention. FIG. 2 illustrates a flexible circuit formed in accordance
with an embodiment of the present invention sandwiched or layered within a laminate to
interconnect an acoustic laminate with the system of FIG. 1. FIG. 10 illustrates the laminated
material positioned and attached to the flexible circuit of FIG. 9 in accordance with one
embodiment of the present invention. FIG. 5 is a side view of a laminated material attached to a
flexible circuit in accordance with an embodiment of the present invention. FIG. 7 illustrates an
embodiment in which a dematching layer is included in the laminate material in accordance with
an embodiment of the present invention. FIG. 7 illustrates an embodiment in which a backing
block is attached to a flexible circuit in accordance with an embodiment of the present invention.
FIG. 5 is a top view of an acoustical laminate diced according to an embodiment of the present
invention. FIG. 12 shows the configuration of FIG. 11 diced according to an embodiment of the
present invention. FIG. 14 shows the configuration of FIG. 13 diced according to an embodiment
of the present invention. FIG. 6 illustrates an embodiment in which a single crystal composite
formed in accordance with an embodiment of the present invention comprises at least one
additional material that has been acoustically optimized. FIG. 18 illustrates dicing the single
crystal composite of FIG. 17 to form composite pieces separated by a second set of kerfs, in
accordance with one embodiment of the present invention. FIG. 18 is a diagram showing the ingroove dicing of the single crystal composite of FIG. 17 in accordance with an embodiment of the
present invention.
[0009]
The foregoing summary, as well as the following detailed description of certain embodiments of
the present invention, will be better understood when read in conjunction with the appended
drawings. Where the figures show diagrams of functional blocks of the various embodiments, the
functional blocks may not necessarily represent a division between hardware circuits. Thus, for
example, one or more of the functional blocks (eg, processor or memory) may be implemented in
a single piece of hardware (eg, a general purpose signal processor or random access memory,
hard disk, etc.). Similarly, the program may be a stand-alone program, may be incorporated as a
subroutine in the operating system, may be a function in an installed software package, or the
like. It should be understood that the various embodiments are not limited to the arrangements
and instrumentality shown in the drawings.
[0010]
As used herein, elements or steps listed in the singular and preceded by the word "a" or "an" are
not excluded unless it is specified that the plural of the element or step is excluded Please
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understand. Moreover, references to "one embodiment" of the present invention are not intended
to be interpreted as excluding the existence of additional embodiments that also incorporate the
recited features. Furthermore, unless otherwise specified, embodiments “comprising” or
“having” an element or elements having a particular property may further include such
elements that do not have that property. Can.
[0011]
FIG. 1 shows an ultrasound system 100 that includes a transmitter 102 that drives an array of
elements 104 (eg, piezoelectric elements) within a probe 106 to emit pulsed ultrasound signals
into the body. The element 104 can comprise a single crystal material and / or a single crystal
composite material as discussed herein. The elements 104 can be arranged, for example, in one
or two dimensions. Various geometric shapes can be used, and the probe 106 can acquire onedimensional, two-dimensional, three-dimensional, and / or four-dimensional image data. The
system 100 can have a probe port 120 for receiving the probe 106, or the probe 106 can be
directly coupled to the system 100.
[0012]
The ultrasound signal is backscattered from internal structures such as adipose tissue and
muscle tissue to generate an echo, which returns to element 104. The echo is received at receiver
108. The received echo passes through beamformer 110, which performs beamforming to
output a radio frequency (RF) signal. The RF signal then passes through the RF processor 112.
Alternatively, RF processor 112 may include a complex demodulator (not shown) that
demodulates the RF signal to form in-phase and quadrature (IQ) data pairs that represent the
echo signal. The RF or IQ signal data can then be sent directly to memory 114 for storage.
[0013]
The ultrasound system 100 also includes a processor module 116 to process the acquired
ultrasound information (eg, RF signal data or IQ data pairs) and to prepare a frame of ultrasound
information to be displayed on the display 118. Processor module 116 is adapted to perform one
or more processing operations on the acquired ultrasound information according to a plurality of
selectable ultrasound modalities. The acquired ultrasound information may be processed and
displayed in real time during a scanning session in which echo signals are received. Additionally
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or alternatively, ultrasound information may be temporarily stored in memory 114 or memory
122 during a scanning session and then processed and displayed in an off-line operation.
[0014]
A user interface 124 may be used to input data into the system 100, adjust settings, and control
the operation of the processor module 116. The user interface 124 can have an input device
such as a keyboard, trackball and / or mouse, and some knobs, switches, or other touch screens.
Display 118 includes one or more monitors that present the user with patient information
including diagnostic ultrasound images for diagnosis and analysis. One or both of memory 114
and memory 122 can store two-dimensional (2D) and / or three-dimensional (3D) data sets of
ultrasound data, where such data sets are 2D and / or 3D Accessed to present an image. Multiple
sequential 3D data sets can also be acquired and stored over time, such as for 3D or 4
dimensional (4D) real time display. The image can be modified and the display settings of display
118 can also be manually adjusted using user interface 124.
[0015]
FIG. 2 shows a 3D capable miniature ultrasound system 130 having a probe 132 that can
comprise an element 104 having a single crystal material and / or a single crystal composite
material as discussed herein. The probe 132 can be configured to acquire 3D ultrasound data.
For example, the probe 132 can comprise a 2D array of transducer elements 104. A user
interface 134 (which may also include an integrated display 136) is provided to receive
commands from the operator.
[0016]
As used herein, "small" refers to the ultrasound system 130 being a handheld or hand-held device
or configured to be carried in a human hand, pocket, briefcase sized case, or backpack Means to
For example, the ultrasound system 130 may be a handheld device having the size of a typical
laptop computer, for example, having dimensions of about 2.5 inches deep, about 14 inches wide
and about 12 inches high. it can. The ultrasound system 130 can weigh approximately 10
pounds and is therefore easily portable by the operator. An integral display 136 (eg, an internal
display) is also provided, and the integral display 136 is configured to display a medical image.
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[0017]
The ultrasound data can be transmitted to the external device 138 via a wired or wireless
network 140 (or alternatively, for example, a serial or parallel cable or direct connection via a
USB port). In some embodiments, external device 138 can be a computer or a workstation having
a display. Alternatively, the external device 138 may be a separate external display or printer
capable of receiving image data from the hand-held ultrasound system 130 and displaying or
printing an image that may have a larger resolution than the integrated display 136. You can
also It should be noted that the various embodiments can be implemented for small ultrasound
systems having different dimensions, weights, and power consumption.
[0018]
FIG. 3 shows a mobile ultrasound imaging system 144 provided on a movable base 146. The
ultrasound imaging system 144 can also be referred to as a cart based system. It should be
appreciated that a display 142 and a user interface 148 are provided, and the display 142 may
be separate or separable from the user interface 148. System 144 includes at least one probe
port for receiving a probe (not shown) that can have element 104 comprising a single crystal
material and / or a single crystal composite material as discussed herein. It has 150.
[0019]
The user interface 148 may optionally be a touch screen, allowing the operator to select options
by touching displayed graphics, icons and the like. The user interface 148 also includes control
buttons 152 that can be used to control the ultrasound imaging system 144 as desired, or as
needed and / or as generally defined. A plurality of user interfaces 148 may be physically
manipulated by the user to interact with ultrasound data and other data that may be displayed,
as well as to enter information and to set and change scanning parameters. Provides interface
options for Interface options can be used for specific input, programmable input, context input,
etc. For example, a keyboard 154 and trackball 156 may be provided.
[0020]
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FIG. 4 illustrates a hand-held or pocket-sized ultrasound imaging system 170 in which the
display 172 and user interface 174 form a single unit. As an example, the pocket-sized
ultrasound imaging system 170 can be about 2 inches wide, about 4 inches long, and about 0.5
inches deep, and weighs less than 3 ounces. The display 172 can be, for example, a 320 × 320
pixel color LCD display (on which medical images 176 can be displayed). A typewriter-like
keyboard 180 consisting of buttons 182 can optionally be included in the user interface 174. A
probe 178 having an element 104 comprising a single crystal material and / or a single crystal
composite material as discussed herein is interconnected with the system 170.
[0021]
The multifunction control buttons 184 can each be assigned functions according to the system
operating mode. Thus, each multi-function control button 184 can be configured to perform a
plurality of different operations. A label display area 186 associated with multi-function control
button 184 may be included on display 172 as desired. System 170 may additionally include
special purpose functions that may include, but are not limited to, "rest", "depth control", "gain
control", "color mode", "print", and "store". It may also have keys and / or control buttons 188.
[0022]
The term acoustic laminate can be used herein to refer to several layers attached to one another
in a laminated configuration. Each of the elements 104 (shown in FIG. 1) in the probe 106
comprises an acoustical stack. In one embodiment, the acoustic stack comprises a piezoelectric
layer formed of a single crystal piezoelectric material or a composite comprising a single crystal
piezoelectric material and at least one additional material acoustically optimized. . The
piezoelectric layer has, for example, a thickness of about 1⁄2 or 1⁄4 of lambda, ie, (λ / 4) or (λ /
2), where λ is the desired bandwidth of useful It is the wavelength of the sound in the
piezoelectric material at the center frequency. The electrodes can be formed of thin metal layers
and deposited on at least the top and bottom surfaces of the piezoelectric material.
[0023]
Generally, one or more matching layers are piezoelectric to match the acoustic impedance
between the piezoelectric layer and the exterior of the probe 106 which may be based on the
acoustic impedance of the human or other object to be scanned. Attached to the top of the layer.
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In other embodiments, there may be two or three matching layers comprising different materials,
or at least one matching layer may be formed from a graded impedance material. The bottom of
the piezoelectric layer can be interconnected with the dematching layer, and the backing block
can be attached to the bottom of the dematching layer, or to the bottom of the piezoelectric layer
if no dematching layer is used. Other stacked configurations are contemplated.
[0024]
As discussed above, after the layers of material are assembled, the optimization parameters (eg,
blade material) needed to dice the single crystal piezoelectric material (also referred to herein as
a single crystal and a single crystal material) It is no longer possible to dice acoustic stacks using
feed rates, etc.). Forming elements 104 using more than one dicing operation is a technical
advantage of at least one embodiment. Methods and apparatus are described in which a single
crystal slab is diced in a first dicing operation. The layer of material is then combined with the
single crystal slab to form an acoustic stack, and a second dicing without contact with the single
crystal is accomplished to form the individual acoustic stacks that make up the element 104. It
should be understood that the individual elements 104 can be formed using three or more dicing
operations. Different dicing parameters can be used in each dicing operation.
[0025]
FIG. 5 illustrates a method for dicing an acoustic stack comprising a single crystal piezoelectric
material in a piezoelectric layer. At 200, a single crystal piezoelectric material slab is partially
diced in a first dicing operation using dicing parameters or conditions optimized for the single
crystal piezoelectric material. The terms partially diced and partially diced are used herein to
mean that one or more slabs of one or more materials are maintained as slabs instead of
individual pieces. It refers to dicing through a part of the material. The dicing parameters or
conditions may be based on the mechanical properties and geometry of the single crystal. Dicing
parameters may include, but are not limited to, blade material, spindle rotational speed, feed rate,
and the like. Thus, the quality of the single crystal is maintained, and the cracking and
degradation incurred when using the dicing conditions required when dicing the entire acoustic
stack are avoided. In another embodiment, laser cutting, ion milling, chemical etching, wire
dicing, plasma, and / or other processes or methods may be used, which may be optimized based
on single crystal material .
[0026]
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The single crystal material slab may be provided with a thickness greater than the acoustically
targeted thickness to include a single crystal layer, which may be referred to as a carrier layer. In
one embodiment, a single crystal material slab can be a single material, and in another
embodiment, a single crystal material slab can be a stack of two or more single crystal material
slabs. Partial dicing at 200 does not extend through the carrier layer. FIG. 6 shows a top view of
the single crystal material after being partially diced. Carrier layer 256 extends along the bottom
surface of the single crystal material. A plurality of single crystal pieces 240 are shown, which
are maintained relative to one another by the carrier layer 256. Each single crystal piece 240
corresponds to a single element 104 in the probe 106. A kerf 242 extending from the top surface
of the monocrystalline material slab to the carrier layer 256 is formed between the
monocrystalline pieces 240 during the first dicing operation by means of a cutting blade or other
cutting process or method previously discussed. Be done. Thus, in one embodiment, kerf 242 can
be a trough by leaving a small amount of single crystals between single crystal pieces 240. In
another embodiment, the kerf 242 can be a separation part, ie, the kerf 242 can completely
separate the single crystal pieces 240. The kerf 242 has a width 244 that corresponds to the
width of the first dicing.
[0027]
Returning to FIG. 5, at 202, kerf 242 is filled with kerf filling material. The kerf filling material
can be an organic polymer, an epoxy based material, or other material suitable for both filling of
kerf 242 and for subsequent dicing operations to dice the acoustic stack. In general, the kerf
filling material is substantially removed in a subsequent dicing operation, and thus the
mechanical properties of the kerf filling material can be taken into account, but the acoustic
properties of the kerf filling material are not important. As the single crystal is subsequently held
by the carrier layer 256, the kerf filling material in the single crystal piece 240 and the kerf 242
is fixed in place, thereby maintaining the desired relationship to one another. The slab formed
from the single crystal pieces 240 and the kerfs 242 filled with kerf filling material can be
referred to as a single crystal composite 246. Although the term composite is used, the element
104 formed from the single crystal composite 246 in this example may be a single crystal that
may have only a small amount of kerf filling material along one or two edges. It should be noted
that the material is provided.
[0028]
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Referring to FIG. 6, the dimensions of single crystal complex 246 are calibrated or
predetermined. For example, the distance 248 from the outer edge 250 of the single crystal
composite 246 to the center of the first kerf 242 is predetermined, and so is the distance 252
from the center of one kerf 242 to the center of the adjacent kerf 242. is there. In one
embodiment, outer edges 250 and 254 of single crystal composite 246 can be trimmed to
predetermined dimensions to align with alignment marks discussed below.
[0029]
Returning to FIG. 5, at 204, the carrier layer 256 can be removed. The single crystal pieces 240
are held in place by the kerf filling material, whereby the single crystal composite 246 is
maintained as a slab.
[0030]
At 206, the single crystal composite 246 can be coated on all sides or surfaces, or at least the top
and bottom surfaces, with a layer of conductive material such as gold, nickel, a combination of
conductive materials, and the like. FIG. 7 shows a top view 270 and an end view 272 of the single
crystal composite 246 after the conductive material 274 has been applied. Separate scribing
portions 260 and 262 can be formed on one side of single crystal composite 246 to define signal
region 264 and ground regions 266 and 268. It should be understood that other methods can be
used to form the electrodes and / or define the signal area and the ground area.
[0031]
At 208 of the method of FIG. 5, at least one slab of material is attached to the single crystal
composite 246. For example, at least one matching layer can be fixed to the surface of the single
crystal composite 246 without the scribing portions 260 and 262, such as by using an adhesive,
glue, or other material. FIG. 8 shows an example of the matching layer 280 fixed to the single
crystal composite 246. A portion of the matching layer 280 has been removed to show the single
crystal composite 246. However, when forming the acoustic stack, the matching layer 280
extends to be equal to all the edges of the single crystal composite 246. Again, the laminated
material can be trimmed to the desired dimensions.
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[0032]
FIG. 9 shows an example of a flexible circuit 290 that is sandwiched or layered within the
laminate to interconnect the acoustic laminate with the system 100 (shown in FIG. 1). The
flexible circuit 290 has a flexible insulating layer 292, which can be formed from a material such
as Kapton®, which is a polyimide film. Other materials may be used. An upper trace 294 is
formed on one side of the flexible insulating layer 292 and a lower trace 296 is formed on the
other side of the flexible insulating layer 292. In one embodiment, the top trace 294 and the
bottom trace 296 can be copper or another metallic material or combination of materials, and on
the flexible insulating layer 292 using printing methods known in the art. Can be printed on. A
portion of the flexible insulating layer 292 has been removed to show a portion of the lower
trace 296.
[0033]
The top trace 294 is formed in three separate areas, the central area 308 and the outer areas
310 and 312. Although not shown, lower traces 296 are formed in three corresponding isolation
regions. Portions within central region 308 of upper trace 294 and lower trace 296 correspond
to signal region 264 (shown in FIG. 7) of single crystal composite 246 and within outer regions
310 and 312 of upper trace 294 and lower trace 296. The portion in the corresponds to the
ground regions 266 and 268. Signal lines 330 (not all shown) configured to transmit signals
between system 100 and element 104 are connected through lower traces 296 in central region
308. Vias 298 are formed through flexible insulating layer 292 to connect upper trace 294 and
lower trace 296 to one another in central region 308. Ground lines 332 and 334 (not all shown)
configured to provide a ground potential from system 100 are connected through top traces 294
in outer regions 310 and 312. It should be understood that other arrangements for transmitting
signals and ground can be used.
[0034]
At least one edge alignment mark 300, 302, 304 and 306 is formed on the same plane as the top
trace 294 of the flexible insulating layer 292. One or more edge alignment marks 300-306 may
be formed of laminated material, in this example a single crystal composite 246 and one or more
matching layers 280, as discussed below for flexible circuit 290. Used for alignment. In addition,
at least one dicing alignment mark 314, 316, 318 and 320 is formed on the same plane as the
top trace 294 of the flexible insulating layer 292. One or more dicing alignment marks 314 to
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320 are cut through the kerf filling material in a dicing operation and to identify the correct
position for dicing the laminate so as not to contact the single crystal pieces 240. used.
Alignment marks 300-306 and 314-320 can also be formed of a metal material.
[0035]
It should be understood that the shapes and sizes of edge alignment marks 300-306 and dicing
alignment marks 314-320 may vary and are not limited to the shapes, sizes, and positions
shown. As shown, dicing alignment marks 314-320 each have a central portion 322 extending
between two outer portions 324 and 326. The central portion 322 indicates a position for dicing,
in other words, the dicing blade (or other dicing means, if applicable) is aligned to cut directly
through the central portion 322. As shown, the edge alignment marks 300-306 are substantially
"L" shaped. The laminate material can be positioned such that each corner is disposed relative to
the "L" shape. In one embodiment, the edge alignment marks 300-306 may be at other positions
with respect to the laminated material, such as along one or more edges, rather than being
disposed relative to corners. In another embodiment, one or more of the dicing alignment marks
314-320 can be arranged to align with any of the kerfs 242.
[0036]
Returning to FIG. 5, at 210, such as using glue or other adhesive with the laminate material in
flexible circuit 290, with the scribed side of single crystal composite 246 facing flexible circuit
290, etc. Attached by The laminated material is positioned relative to the flexible circuit 290
using one or more edge alignment marks 300-306. For example, one or more corners, faces, or
outer edges of alignment layer 280 may be aligned with edge alignment marks 300-306. In one
embodiment, a set of stud bumps or metal posts (not shown) can be formed on the top surface of
the flexible circuit 290 to align the laminate material to the stud bumps, eg, conductive A glue
can be used to secure to the stud bumps. If desired, additional fillers can be used between the
flexible circuit 290 and the laminate material. In another embodiment, one or more matching
layers 280 can be secured to the single crystal composite 246 after the single crystal composite
246 is attached to the flexible circuit 290.
[0037]
FIG. 10 shows the laminated material positioned and attached to flexible circuit 290. One or
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more edge alignment marks 300-306 were used to position the laminate material. It can be seen
that a central portion 322 of dicing alignment mark 320 is arranged to extend through the
center of kerf 242.
[0038]
In some embodiments, dicing alignment marks 314-320 can not be provided and the alignment
of dicing blade, laser, or other cutting means may be edge alignment, such as distance 328
measured from edge alignment mark 302. This can be achieved by measuring a predetermined
distance from the marks 300-306. In some cases, glue or other adhesive used to secure the
laminate material to the flexible circuit 290 extends beyond the slab and obscures one or more of
the edge alignment marks 300-306 There is a risk of Thus, in other embodiments, it may be
desirable to provide at least one dicing alignment mark 314-320 to ensure correct positioning of
the dicing blade. The dicing of the remaining kerf 242 can be measured on at least one of the at
least one dicing alignment mark 314-320 and / or the edge alignment mark 300-306.
[0039]
FIG. 11 shows a side view of the laminated material attached to the flexible circuit 290. Vias 298
extend through the flexible insulating layer 292 in the figure to connect the upper traces 294
and the lower traces 296 to one another. A single crystal piece 240 of single crystal composite
246 is positioned over flexible trace 290 over upper trace 294. In one embodiment, matching
layer 280 is a first matching layer, and second matching layer 282 is secured to the top surface
of matching layer 280.
[0040]
FIG. 12 shows an alternative embodiment in which a backside unmatching layer 340 is included
in the laminate material. First, the alignment release layer 340 can be attached to the single
crystal composite 246. The laminated material can then be aligned with and attached to the
flexible circuit 290 as discussed above. In another embodiment, the laminated material can be
attached after the single crystal composite 246 is attached to the flexible circuit 290.
[0041]
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FIG. 13 illustrates one embodiment in which a backing block 350 is attached to the side of the
bottom circuit 296 of the flexible circuit 290. Although not shown, it is to be understood that the
backing block 350 can also be attached to the flexible circuit 290 in the configuration of FIG. 12
where the misalignment layer 340 is included in the laminate material.
[0042]
In some embodiments, other layers can be included in the stack, such as additional matching or
dismatching layers, electrodes in communication with single crystal composite 246, and the like.
Thus, the methods and apparatus described herein are not limited to the illustrated laminate
configuration.
[0043]
Returning to FIG. 5, at 212, the laminated material, including at least a single crystal composite
246, at least one matching layer 280 and 282, and a flexible circuit 290, is diced in a second
dicing operation. The dicing parameters for the second dicing are: metal, graphite, and other very
hard materials, ie, differences in materials that can include materials harder than the single
crystal material diced in the first dicing operation Therefore, it may be very different from that
for the first dicing. Furthermore, due to the thickness of the laminate, it is exposed to the cutting
blade longer. Dicing parameters such as blade material and feed rate can be selected or
optimized based on material slabs such as matching layers 280 and 282 and flexible insulating
layer 292, taking into account the requirements of single crystal material There is no need. In
other words, in this example, the dicing parameters of the second dicing operation may be based
on the mechanical properties of the matching layers 280 and 282 and the flexible insulating
layer 292.
[0044]
FIG. 14 shows a top view of the diced laminate. The lamination material was diced into individual
laminates by dicing the dicing blade through the kerf filling material in the kerf 242. A portion of
the matching layer 280 is shown as a cutaway view to show the single crystal composite 246.
The second dicing has a width 352 that is less than the width 244 of the first dicing, so the kerf
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360 is thinner than the kerf 242. The kerf 360 formed by the second dicing operation extends
through the matching layer 280 and the kerf filling material of the single crystal composite 246.
Therefore, the dicing blade dices into the kerf 242 and partially removes the kerf filling material
but does not contact the single crystal piece 240. In some embodiments, a small amount of kerf
filling material may remain on the edge of single crystal piece 240 to protect the single crystal
material during the second dicing.
[0045]
In another embodiment, rather than achieving the second dicing operation using a dicing saw,
laser cutting techniques can be used. In one embodiment, an ultraviolet (UV) laser can be used,
but other types of lasers can also be used. During laser cutting, the movement of the part and /
or the laser can be controlled by the computer. The laser is directed and aimed on alignment
marks, such as dicing alignment marks 314-320 aligned with the center of the kerf 242. The kerf
filling material can be chosen to absorb the energy of the laser, so that the cutting operation is a
single crystal on the edge of the kerf 242 within a relatively short time (such as less than one
second) It can be implemented without overheating the piece 240. In some embodiments, such as
for thick layers or special cases, sweep times and sweep rates can be adjusted to achieve ablation
in multiple sweeps. In other words, the laser can be moved quickly from one end of the kerf 242
to the other end of the kerf 242 more than once so that the heat is not localized in one spot.
[0046]
FIG. 15 shows an example of the dicing operation based on the configuration of FIG. A dicing saw
(or laser) slices through the laminate material and a portion of the thickness 372 of the flexible
insulating layer 292 to separate the acoustic laminates 370 corresponding to the elements 104
(shown in FIG. 1) individually. did. In order to hold the individual elements 104 (i.e. the acoustic
stack 370) together, a portion of the flexible insulating layer 292 is maintained in its original
state.
[0047]
In another embodiment shown in FIG. 16, an example of a dicing operation based on the
configuration of FIG. 13 is shown. A dicing saw or laser was sliced through the laminate material
including the flexible insulating layer 292 and through a portion of the thickness 374 of the
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backing block 350 to form separate acoustic laminates 370. In order to hold the individual
elements 104 (i.e. the acoustic stack 370) together, a portion of the backing block 350 is
maintained in its original state.
[0048]
While a row of elements 104 is shown, forming a 2D array of elements 104 held together by a
flexible insulating layer 292 (as shown in FIG. 15) or a backing block 350 (as shown in FIG. 16) It
should be appreciated that multiple rows of elements 104 can be formed from larger laminate
material slabs. In another embodiment, the separate rows of elements 104 can be arranged
together and held together using other structures.
[0049]
FIG. 17 shows an embodiment in which a single crystal composite 404 is formed comprising at
least one additional material that has been acoustically optimized. Thus, the acoustically
optimized material is selected based on the acoustic properties of the material rather than the
mechanical properties of the material. The single crystal material slab can be diced to form single
crystal strips 402 separated by a first set of kerfs 400. The first set of kerfs 400 can then be
filled with a material selected based on the desired acoustical properties of the final composite
material. Additionally, the ratio of kerf to single crystal material can be determined based on the
desired acoustical properties of the single crystal composite 404. In one embodiment, single
crystal composite 404 may be approximately half a single crystal material and half another
acoustically optimized material. In another embodiment, at least one other acoustically optimized
material can be used to fill a portion of the first set of kerfs 400. Although not shown, one or
more additional materials acoustically optimized such that additional kerfs may be formed and /
or may be visible in ceramic based piezoelectric composite slabs Can be used.
[0050]
FIG. 18 illustrates dicing the single crystal composite 404 to form composite pieces 410
separated by a second set of kerfs 412. The dicing has a width 414. The second dicing direction
may be, but is not limited to, perpendicular to the first dicing direction. The second set of kerfs
412 can be filled with the same kerf filling material used in FIG. 6, ie, a material that is
mechanically optimized based on laminate parameters for dicing. The acoustic parameters of the
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17
material used to fill the second set of kerfs 412 are not necessarily critical as the material is
substantially removed during the subsequent dicing operation. The thickness of the material used
to fill the first set of kerfs 400 and the second set of kerfs 412 can be adjusted at this point, if
desired.
[0051]
FIG. 19 shows the dicing of the single crystal composite 404 in the kerf. Other layers of the stack,
such as one or more matching layers, flexible circuits, alignment to flexible circuits, misalignment
layers, backing blocks, etc., are not shown to simplify the figure. FIG. 19 shows how the single
crystal composite 404 can be diced without contacting the single crystal material in the second
set of kerfs 412. In-kerf dicing has a width 416 less than width 414. In this example, the material
used to fill the first set of kerfs 400 also does not contact the dicing blade (or laser). Therefore,
optimizing the dicing operation based on the other layers of the stack, without having to consider
any special dicing parameters that can be based on single crystal material or the material filling
the first set of kerfs 400. Can.
[0052]
It is to be understood that the above description is intended to be illustrative rather than limiting.
For example, the above-described embodiments (and / or aspects thereof) can be used in
combination with one another. In addition, many modifications may be made to adapt a
particular situation or material to the teachings of the present invention without departing from
the scope of the present invention. While the dimensions and types of materials described herein
define the parameters of the present invention, they are by no means limiting and are exemplary
embodiments. Many other embodiments will be apparent to those of ordinary skill in the art
upon reviewing the above description. Accordingly, the scope of the present invention should be
defined in terms of the appended claims, along with the full scope of equivalents to which such
claims are entitled. In the appended claims, the terms "including" and "in which" are used as the
plain-English equivalents of the corresponding terms "comprising" and "wherein". Furthermore,
in the appended claims, the terms "first", "second", and "third" etc. do not impose a numerical
requirement on the subject but are used merely as a label . Furthermore, no limitation of the
appended claims is set forth in the form of means-plus-functions, and such claim limitations are
followed by the phrase "means for doing", followed by functions without further structure. US
Patent Act (35 U.S.C.) unless expressly used, and until explicitly stated. It shall not be interpreted
under Article 112, paragraph 6
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[0053]
The present description allows the person skilled in the art to practice the present invention to
disclose the present invention, including the best mode, and also to make and use any device or
system, and to carry out any method incorporated. It uses an example to help you. The
patentable scope of the invention is defined by the claims, and the scope can include other
examples that occur to those skilled in the art. Such other examples have structural elements that
do not differ from the literal wordings of the claims, or equivalent structural elements that differ
slightly from the literal words according to the claims If it includes, it shall be within the scope of
the claims.
[0054]
DESCRIPTION OF SYMBOLS 100 ultrasound system 102 transmitter 104 element 106 probe
108 receiver 110 beamformer 112 RF processor 114 memory 116 processor module 118
display 120 probe port 122 memory 124 user interface 130 small ultrasonic system 132 probe
134 user Interface 136 Integrated Display 138 External Device 140 Network 142 Display 144
Mobile Ultrasound Imaging System 146 Movable Base 148 User Interface 150 Transducer Port
152 Control Button 154 Keyboard 156 Trackball 170 Pocket Size Ultrasound Imaging System
172 Display 174 User Interface 176 medical images 178 Tactile member 180 Keyboard 182
Button 184 Multi-function control button 186 Label display area 188 Control button 200 First
dicing under conditions optimized for single crystal material 202 Filling kerf with kerf filling
material 204 Carrier layer Remove metal 206 Metallize and scribe 208 single crystal composite
Attach one or more matching layers to single crystal composite 210 Attach laminate material to
flexible circuit 212 Second condition based on laminate material Dicing 240 single crystal piece
242 kerf 244 width 246 single crystal composite 248 distance 250 outer edge 252 distance 254
outer edge 256 carrier layer 260 separation scribing part 262 separation scribing part 264
signal area 266 ground area 270 top area 270 top view72 end view 274 conductive material
280 matching layer 282 second matching layer 290 flexible circuit 292 flexible insulating layer
294 upper trace 296 lower trace 298 via 300 edge alignment mark 302 edge alignment mark
304 edge alignment mark 306 edge alignment mark 308 central region 310 outer region 312
outer region 314 dicing alignment mark 316 dicing alignment mark 318 dicing alignment mark
320 dicing alignment mark 322 central portion 324 outer portion 326 outer portion 328
distance 330 signal line 332 ground line 334 ground line 340 alignment release layer 350
backing block 352 width 360 kerf 370 acoustic laminate 372 thickness 374 thickness 4 00 First
set of kerfs 402 single crystal strip 404 single crystal composite 410 composite piece 412
second set of kerfs 414 width 416 width
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