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DESCRIPTION JP2012015851

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DESCRIPTION JP2012015851
An object of the present invention is to provide a manufacturing method capable of
manufacturing an ultrasonic probe more easily. The vibrator 10 and the relay substrate 30 are
joined in a state where the vibrator side electrode 20 formed on the back surface of the vibrator
10 and the substrate side electrode 32 formed on the top surface of the relay substrate 30 are in
close contact with each other. In this case, surface treatment for improving wettability is
performed only in advance in the range to be aligned, that is, the formation range of the
transducer-side electrode substrate 20 and the formation range of the substrate-side electrode
32. Thereafter, a liquid adhesive 38 is applied to the electrode formation area, and the vibrator
10 and the relay substrate 30 are superimposed. At this time, the vibrator 10 and the relay
substrate 30 are automatically positioned by the surface tension of the adhesive 38 which has
spread only to the electrode forming area where the wettability is enhanced. Thereafter, the
vibrator 10 is pressed against the relay substrate 30, and after the adhesive 38 between the
electrodes is pushed out, the adhesive 38 is cured by applying pressure and heating. [Selected
figure] Figure 1
Method of manufacturing ultrasonic probe, and ultrasonic probe
[0001]
According to the present invention, the vibrator and the substrate are joined in a state where the
vibrator side electrodes arranged in an array on the back of the vibrator and the substrate side
electrodes arranged in an array on the top of the substrate are in close contact with each other.
The present invention relates to an ultrasonic probe incorporating the above-described
transducer unit, and a method of manufacturing the same.
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1
[0002]
BACKGROUND In recent years, medical diagnosis using ultrasonic images has been put to
practical use in the medical field.
The ultrasonic image is formed on the basis of an echo signal obtained by transmitting an
ultrasonic wave from an ultrasonic probe having an ultrasonic transducer built in to a region to
be examined in the body of a subject.
[0003]
A backing material, a piezoelectric material disposed on the array on the top surface of the
backing material, and a transducer formed of a matching layer disposed on the top surface of
each piezoelectric material are housed inside the case of the ultrasonic probe. On the back
surface of the vibrator (the back surface of the backing material), electrodes to which signal lines
drawn from the respective piezoelectric materials are connected are formed in an array.
[0004]
When manufacturing this ultrasonic probe, it is necessary to bond the transducer-side electrodes
on the back surface of the transducer (back surface of the backing material) to the substrate-side
electrodes formed in an array on the substrate. is there. This bonding is usually performed after
aligning the outer shape of the vibrator with the positioning mark formed on the substrate. Then,
each vibrator side electrode comes in contact with the substrate side electrode by this bonding,
and the signal line drawn from each piezoelectric material passes through the vibrator side
electrode and the substrate side electrode, and the circuit or cable in the subsequent stage
Electrically connected to
[0005]
JP 2008-270869 A JP JP 2001-87953 A
[0006]
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However, the conventional manufacturing method in which the vibrator is placed on the
substrate and the external shape of the vibrator is bonded to the positioning mark on the
substrate in that state is extremely complicated, that is, the accuracy tends to be low. There was a
problem that.
That is, in the conventional manufacturing method, since it is not possible to directly view the
transducer side electrode on the back surface of the transducer at the time of bonding, there is
no choice but to perform indirect positioning via the outer shape of the transducer. Accumulation
was likely to reduce the positioning system. In addition, in the case of such positioning, it is
necessary to observe the positioning mark and the vibrator outer shape on the substrate with a
microscope, which is very time-consuming. Furthermore, it is necessary to make the substrate
larger by the positioning mark, which in turn makes it difficult to miniaturize the ultrasonic
probe. That is, conventionally, there has been no technology that can easily manufacture a
suitable ultrasonic probe.
[0007]
In addition, although the technique which prevents the fats and oils from a biological body from
invading into the inside of an ultrasonic probe by surface treatment, such as plasma treatment, is
disclosed by patent document 1, with respect to the positioning with respect to the board |
substrate of a vibrator Is not disclosed at all. Further, Patent Document 2 discloses a technique
for aligning components by using surface tension, but for that purpose, it is necessary to form
the portion to be positioned with glass or polycrystalline silicon, It can be said that it is very timeconsuming. Moreover, in this patent document 2, nothing is described regarding manufacture of
an ultrasound probe.
[0008]
Therefore, an object of the present invention is to provide an ultrasonic probe that can be
manufactured more easily, and a method of manufacturing the same.
[0009]
In the method of manufacturing an ultrasonic probe according to the present invention, the
transducer-side electrodes disposed in an array on the back of the transducer and the substrateside electrodes disposed in an array on the upper surface of the substrate are in close contact
with each other A manufacturing method of an ultrasonic probe incorporating a transducer unit
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in which a transducer and a substrate are joined in a fixed state, wherein only a target range to
be aligned with each other among the transducer and the substrate is wetted beforehand To
apply a thermosetting liquid adhesive to a target area of at least one of the vibrator and the
substrate so that the target areas of the vibrator and the substrate face each other. A mounting
step of mounting the vibrator on a substrate, and a preliminary application of pressing the
vibrator against the substrate to perform preliminary pressing to push out an adhesive
interposed between the vibrator side electrode and the substrate side electrode; Pressure step,
the vibrator and A curing step of curing the adhesive by heating while performing main pressing
to press the plates in a direction in which they are in close contact with each other, in the process
of the placing step and the prepressing step, the target range The surface tension of the adhesive
spreads to position the vibrator and the substrate.
[0010]
In a preferred aspect, in the prepressing step, the upper block body having the viscosity variable
body applied to the bottom surface is placed on a vibrator after liquefying the viscosity variable
body, and the upper block body is A step of bringing the upper block body into a supported state
by surface tension, and a step of pressing the upper block body to the vibrator side after
solidifying the viscosity variable body after the placing step Prepare.
In this case, the viscosity variable body is a wax which melts at least at the curing temperature of
the adhesive, and in the curing step, the wax melted by heating for curing the adhesive turns the
upper block body to the vibrator side. It is desirable that the main pressure to be pressed be
pushed out from between the upper block and the vibrator.
[0011]
In another preferable aspect, the surface treatment for enhancing the wettability is plasma
treatment, and in the surface treatment step, the vibrator and the substrate are masked in a
range other than the target range. And plasma treatment of the substrate.
In another preferable aspect, the target range of the vibrator is the formation range of the arraylike transducer side electrodes of the back surface of the vibrator, and the target range of the
substrate is the formation of the array-like substrate side electrodes of the upper surface of the
substrate It is a range.
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[0012]
In another ultrasonic probe according to the present invention, the transducer-side electrodes
disposed in an array on the back of the transducer and the substrate-side electrodes disposed in
an array on the upper surface of the substrate are in close contact with each other An ultrasonic
probe incorporating a transducer unit in which a transducer and a substrate are joined in a
closed state, the transducer and substrate having a surface treatment for enhancing wettability
only in a target range to be aligned with each other However, after being positioned by the
thermosetting adhesive applied to the target range, the transducer-side electrode and the
substrate-side electrode are bonded in a state of being in close contact with each other.
[0013]
According to the present invention, since the positioning is automatically performed by the
surface tension of the adhesive, the ultrasonic probe can be easily manufactured.
[0014]
It is the top view and side view of a transducer unit used for an ultrasonic probe which is an
embodiment of the present invention.
They are a top view, a side view, and a bottom view of a vibrator.
It is the top view and side view of a relay board. It is a figure which shows the process of the
joining process of a vibrator | oscillator and a relay board. It is a figure which shows the process
of the joining process of a vibrator | oscillator and a relay board. It is a figure which shows the
process of the joining process of a vibrator | oscillator and a relay board. It is a figure which
shows the process of the joining process of a vibrator | oscillator and a relay board. It is a figure
which shows the process of the joining process of a vibrator | oscillator and a relay board. It is a
figure which shows the process of the joining process of a vibrator | oscillator and a relay board.
It is a figure which shows the effect | action of surface tension. It is a top view of the relay
substrate in the conventional ultrasonic probe. It is a figure which shows the process of the
joining process of the vibrator | oscillator and relay substrate in a prior art. It is a figure which
shows the process of the joining process of the vibrator | oscillator and relay substrate in a prior
art. It is a figure which shows the process of the joining process of the vibrator | oscillator and
relay substrate in a prior art.
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[0015]
Hereinafter, embodiments of the present invention will be described with reference to the
drawings. FIG. 1 is a top view and a side view of a transducer unit used in an ultrasonic probe
according to an embodiment of the present invention. Moreover, FIG. 2 is a top view, a side view,
and a bottom view of the vibrator 10. FIG. 3 is a top view and a side view of the relay substrate
30. Inside the case of the ultrasound probe of the present embodiment, a transducer unit
including the two-dimensional array transducer 10 and the relay substrate 30 joined to the
transducer 10 is incorporated.
[0016]
As shown in FIG. 1 and FIG. 2, the vibrator 10 is provided with a backing material 12, a plurality
of strip-shaped piezoelectric materials 14, and a matching layer 16. The matching layer 16 is a
member made of a material having an acoustic impedance intermediate between the piezoelectric
material 14 and the living body, and reducing reflection due to the difference in acoustic
impedance. In the drawing, the matching layer 16 is only a single layer, but in practice, it may be
a multilayer structure. In that case, it is desirable to select the material of each matching layer 16
such that the matching layer 16 closer to the living body has an acoustic impedance closer to the
acoustic impedance of the living body. Finally, an acoustic lens for focusing the ultrasonic beam
in the slice direction is disposed on the front surface of the matching layer 16 (the surface on the
side opposite to the piezoelectric material 14).
[0017]
The piezoelectric material 14 converts sound (vibration) into voltage and voltage into sound. The
piezoelectric material 14 may be PZT, piezoelectric ceramics such as barium titanate, or PZT (Pb
(Zn1 / 3Nb2 / 3) O3-PbTiO3), or PMNT (Pb (Mg1 / 3Nb2 / 3) O3-PbTiO3). And so on are used.
Although only one layer of the piezoelectric material 14 is shown in the drawing, it may be a
multilayer structure in practice.
[0018]
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The backing material 12 is a member which is provided on the back surface of the piezoelectric
material 14 and absorbs sound to the rear. By providing the backing material 12, extra vibration
can be suppressed and the pulse width can be shortened.
[0019]
The signal wires 18 (leads) drawn from the respective piezoelectric members 14 are inserted into
the inside of the backing material 12. On the back surface of backing material 12 (that is, the
back surface of vibrator 10), electrode pads (hereinafter referred to as “vibrator side electrodes
20”) electrically connected to signal line 18 are arranged in an array. ing. Although the ground
electrode lead-out portion is located on the opposite side of the piezoelectric material 14 from
the signal line 18, the illustration is omitted here.
[0020]
The relay substrate 30 is a substrate for electrically connecting each vibrator 10 to a circuit or a
cable in the subsequent stage. On the upper surface of the relay substrate 30, electrode pads
(hereinafter referred to as "substrate side electrodes 32") corresponding to the transducer side
electrodes 20 arranged in an array are arranged in an array. Each substrate side electrode 32 is
wired to the left and right cable connection electrode pads 34 by a multilayer substrate.
[0021]
When manufacturing the ultrasonic probe, after the transducer 10 is positioned on the relay
substrate 30 so that each transducer-side electrode 20 and the corresponding substrate-side
electrode 32 are in close contact with each other, the transducer 10 is Needs to be bonded to the
relay substrate 30. However, conventionally, the operation of positioning and joining the vibrator
10 has been extremely complicated, and it has been difficult to maintain sufficient positional
accuracy. Further, in the conventional positioning and bonding techniques, there is a problem
that the relay substrate 30 tends to be large. This will be described with reference to FIGS. 11 to
14.
[0022]
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FIG. 11 is a top view of the relay substrate 30 used in the prior art. The vibrator 10 used in the
prior art is substantially the same except for the difference in the range of the surface treatment,
as will be described later, so the illustration thereof is omitted here.
[0023]
Similar to the relay substrate 30 of the present embodiment, the substrate side electrodes 32 are
arranged in an array on the upper surface of the conventional relay substrate 30. On the other
hand, unlike the present embodiment, positioning marks 58 are provided on the conventional
relay substrate 30 around the array of the substrate side electrodes 32. The positioning mark 58
is a mark indicating the outer position of the vibrator 10, more precisely, the position of the
outer corner of the vibrator 10, as described later. In order to provide the positioning marks 58,
the conventional relay substrate 30 needs to be larger than the area required for the arrayed
arrangement of the substrate side electrodes 32.
[0024]
When bonding the vibrator 10 to the relay substrate 30, first, surface treatment is performed on
substantially the entire rear surface of the vibrator 10 (that is, the rear surface of the backing
material 12) and the bonding surface of the relay substrate 30. This surface treatment is
performed for the purpose of cleaning the bonding surface of the rear surface of the vibrator 10
and the bonding surface of the relay substrate 30 and improving adhesion by surface activation.
For example, plasma treatment using oxygen or argon gas is performed.
[0025]
Thereafter, a thermosetting liquid adhesive 38 is applied to the bonding surface of the relay
substrate 30 and the back surface of the vibrator 10 respectively. Then, as shown in FIG. 12, the
vibrator 10 is mounted on the bonding surface of the relay substrate 30, and the bonding
surfaces of the relay substrate 30 and the vibrator 10 are aligned to perform rough alignment.
[0026]
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Next, the alignment mark 58 is used to align the vibrator 10 with the relay substrate 30. FIG. 13
is a diagram showing the state of this alignment. At the time of alignment, the vibrator 10 and
the relay substrate 30 are observed from directly above with a microscope. As shown in FIG. 13,
at this time, neither the back surface of the vibrator 10 (and the vibrator side electrode 20) nor
the bonding surface of the relay substrate 30 (thus, the substrate side electrode 32) can be
viewed. Therefore, the worker can not directly confirm the positional relationship between the
electrodes. Therefore, conventionally, the operator indirectly positions the electrodes by aligning
the outer shape of the vibrator 10 with the positioning mark 58 formed on the upper surface of
the relay substrate 30. Therefore, as a matter of course, the positioning mark 58 is provided at
such a position that the electrodes 20 and 32 can be positioned by aligning with the outer shape
of the vibrator 10.
[0027]
When the positioning operation using the positioning mark 58 is completed, then, as shown in
FIG. 14, the operator lightly presses the vibrator 10 against the substrate 30 side and pushes the
adhesive 38 between the electrodes 20 and 32. Execute pre-pressing to bring the electrodes into
contact with each other. Thereafter, the positioned vibrator 10 and the relay substrate 30 are
placed on a pressing jig to perform main pressing, and in this pressurized state, the adhesive 38
is cured by heating and the vibrator 10 is transferred to the relay substrate 30. Join. Here, the
reason for performing the call pressure prior to the main pressure is to avoid the side slip of the
vibrator 10 and the occurrence of positional deviation during the main pressure.
[0028]
As is clear from the above description, conventionally, positioning has been performed by visual
observation. Therefore, not only the work process becomes complicated, but also it is difficult to
maintain high positioning accuracy because a skilled skill is required. In addition, since the
positioning is indirect based on the outer dimensions of the vibrator 10, errors are easily
accumulated, and it is easy to cause a decrease in positioning accuracy. Further, in the prior art,
it is necessary to provide the positioning mark 58 on the relay substrate 30, and the relay
substrate 30 becomes large by the amount of the positioning mark 58, and as a result,
miniaturization of the ultrasonic probe is difficult. .
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[0029]
The present embodiment is configured in view of such conventional problems, and is capable of
manufacturing a suitable ultrasonic probe more easily. Hereinafter, the process of bonding the
vibrator 10 and the relay substrate 30 in the manufacturing process of the ultrasonic probe in
the present embodiment will be described in detail with reference to FIGS. 4 to 9.
[0030]
When bonding the vibrator 10 and the relay substrate 30, first, surface treatment is performed
on the back surface of the vibrator 10 and the upper surface of the relay substrate 30, that is, the
bonding surface of the both. This surface treatment is a treatment for adhesion improvement
aiming at cleaning and activation of the bonding surface, as well as a treatment aiming at
wettability improvement. As this surface treatment, for example, plasma treatment using oxygen
or argon gas can be adopted.
[0031]
Here, in the present embodiment, unlike the prior art, the surface treatment is applied only to the
range (target range) to be aligned with each other, not the entire bonding surface of the vibrator
10 and the relay substrate 30. That is, it is desirable that the vibrator 10 and the relay substrate
30 be aligned so that the electrodes 20 and 32 formed on the bonding surface thereof are
bonded. In other words, if only the formation range of the transducer side electrode 20 in the
back surface of the transducer 10 and the formation range of the substrate side electrode 32 in
the top surface of the relay substrate 30 are aligned with each other, the transducer is It can be
said that there is no problem even if the external position of 10 deviates (due to an error in the
external dimensions).
[0032]
Therefore, in the present embodiment, as shown in FIG. 4, the surface treatment is performed
after applying a mask with a metal mask or the like so that only the formation range of the
transducer side electrode 20 in the back surface of the transducer 10 is exposed. It is carried out.
Thereby, only the formation range of the transducer-side electrode 20 has higher wettability than
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the other ranges. Similarly, the relay substrate 30 is also masked so that only the formation area
of the substrate side electrode 32 is exposed, and then surface treatment is performed to
enhance the wettability of the formation area compared to other ranges. ing.
[0033]
If surface treatment is performed in a prescribed range, the mask is subsequently removed, and a
thermosetting liquid adhesive 38 is applied to the bonding surface of the vibrator 10 and the
bonding surface of the relay substrate 30 in the region subjected to the surface treatment. Do. In
addition, although the adhesive agent 38 is apply | coated to both the vibrator | oscillator 10 and
the relay substrate 30 here, you may apply | coat to only any one depending on the case.
[0034]
Subsequently, as shown in FIG. 5, the vibrator 10 is mounted on the relay substrate 30 so that
the bonding surfaces of the vibrator 10 and the relay substrate 30 are mutually flush. During this
mounting, even if the position of the vibrator 10 with respect to the relay substrate 30 is
somewhat deviated, the deviation is automatically corrected by the surface tension of the
adhesive 38. That is, as shown in FIG. 10, it is assumed that the vibrator 10 is mounted with the
electrode formation range of the vibrator 10 and the electrode formation range of the relay
substrate 30 shifted. Even in this case, the adhesive 38 hardly adheres to a portion other than the
electrode formation range, that is, a portion with low wettability, and the adhesive 38 spreads
only in the electrode formation range with high wettability. The surface tension (the force to
make the surface as small as possible) of the adhesive 38 causes the vibrator 10 and the relay
substrate 30 to overlap with each other in the electrode formation range (the range in which the
wettability is high). The force acts to automatically correct the deviation, resulting in the state
shown in FIG. In addition, it is desirable to stick the protective sheet 44 which protects the said
vibrator | oscillator 10 on the upper surface of the vibrator | oscillator 10 in this front step to
overlap | superpose.
[0035]
When the vibrator 10 is placed on the relay substrate 30, subsequently, preliminary pressing is
performed to push out the adhesive 38 interposed between the vibrator side electrode 20 and
the substrate side electrode 32. Specifically, the wax 48 is first applied to the bottom of the
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upper pressure block 50. The upper pressure block 50 has a bottom surface sufficiently larger
than the top surface of the vibrator 10. Also, the wax 48 functions as a viscosity variable body
whose viscosity changes according to the temperature. In the present embodiment, as the wax
48, one which is melted at least at the curing temperature (for example, 80 ° C.) of the adhesive
38 and which has a low viscosity at the time of liquefaction, eg, manufactured by Nicha Seiko Co.,
Ltd. Alco wax, electron wax manufactured by Furuuchi Chemical Co., Ltd., or the like can be used.
[0036]
When wax 48 is applied to the bottom of the upper pressure block 50, the upper pressure block
50 is subsequently heated to melt and liquefy the wax 48. Then, as shown in FIG. 6, the upper
pressure block 50 is lowered to such a height that the liquefied wax 48 contacts the upper
surface of the vibrator 10 in that state. When the upper pressure block 50 is released at a height
at which the liquefied wax 48 contacts the upper surface of the vibrator 10, as shown in FIG. Do.
At this time, the upper pressure block 50 is kept horizontal by the surface tension, and a force
corresponding to the weight of the upper pressure block 50 acts uniformly on the vibrator 10.
Under this uniform load, the vibrator 10 is lightly pushed, and the adhesive 38 between the
vibrator 10 and the relay substrate 30 spreads over the high wettability range, that is, the entire
electrode formation range. At this time, the positions of the vibrator 10 and the relay substrate
30 are more accurately aligned so that the electrode formation ranges overlap with each other by
the surface tension of the adhesive 38. That is, according to the present embodiment, position
confirmation by visual observation is not necessary, and alignment can be performed extremely
easily.
[0037]
Next, as shown in FIG. 8, the upper pressure block 50 is cooled using a peltier or the like to
solidify the wax 48 interposed between the upper pressure block 50 and the vibrator 10. Then,
in that state, preliminary pressing is performed to push the upper pressure block 50 downward,
and the adhesive 38 between the electrodes 20 and 32 is pushed out.
[0038]
Thereafter, as shown in FIG. 9, the main pressing is performed using a pressing jig, and the entire
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vibrator unit is pressed to cure the adhesive. At this time, the solidified wax 48 is melted, and the
wax 48 interposed between the upper pressure block 50 and the vibrator 10 is pushed out.
Finally, after the adhesive 38 is cured, the blocks 50 and 52 are removed to complete the
bonding of the vibrator 10 and the relay substrate 30.
[0039]
As is clear from the above description, according to the present embodiment, the wettability
improving process is performed only on the range in which the alignment between the vibrator
10 and the relay substrate 30 is required, that is, the electrode formation range. As a result,
automatic positioning by surface tension becomes possible, and bonding of both can be
performed more simply and with higher accuracy. Further, by disposing the block via the wax 48,
it is possible to apply force uniformly to the vibrator 10, and it is possible to perform prepressurization without interfering with positioning due to surface tension. Furthermore,
according to the present embodiment, since it is not necessary to provide the positioning mark
58 on the relay substrate 30, it is possible to miniaturize the relay substrate 30, and hence the
ultrasonic probe.
[0040]
10 vibrator, 12 backing material, 14 piezoelectric material, 16 matching layer, 18 signal wire, 20
vibrator side electrode, 30 relay substrate, 32 substrate side electrode, 34 cable connection
electrode pad, 38 adhesive agent, 44 protective sheet, 48 wax, 50, 52 pressure block.
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