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DESCRIPTION JP2013063199

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DESCRIPTION JP2013063199
Abstract: The present invention provides an ultrasonic probe and an ultrasonic diagnostic
imaging apparatus that can transmit and receive ultrasonic waves well. A sensor array substrate
(2) having an opening (211), a support film (3) provided on the sensor array substrate (2) and
closing the opening (211), and the opening in plan view seen from the thickness direction of the
support film A piezoelectric body provided on the inner region of the substrate 211 and sealed
from an external space between the piezoelectric film formed on the support film 3 and the
support film 3 at least in a region where the opening 211 is formed in plan view A first resin
portion 52 including a contact portion 522 capable of contacting the object facing the opening
portion 211 while forming the one space S1, and the first space S1 in communication with the
first space S1 and sealed from the external space A second resin portion 53 forming the space S2
and an ultrasonic wave transmission medium 6 filled in the first space S1 and the second space
S2 are provided. At least a part of the second resin portion 53 is provided with a rigid flexible
portion 532 which is smaller than the rigidity in the film thickness direction of the support film
3. [Selected figure] Figure 3
Ultrasound probe and ultrasound imaging apparatus
[0001]
The present invention relates to an ultrasonic probe that transmits an ultrasonic wave to a
subject and receives its reflected wave (echo), and an ultrasonic diagnostic imaging apparatus
including the ultrasonic probe.
[0002]
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1
Conventionally, an ultrasonic sensor is known which detects the position, state, and the like of an
inspection object using an ultrasonic transducer that transmits and receives ultrasonic waves
(see, for example, Patent Document 1).
This patent document 1 discloses a liquid detection unit (ultrasonic sensor) configured of an
ultrasonic wave output unit including an ultrasonic transducer, and an acoustic impedance
matching layer provided on the ultrasonic wave output unit. In this liquid detection unit, an
ultrasonic wave transmission / reception surface is formed on a part of one surface side of the
ultrasonic wave output unit. The acoustic impedance matching layer is formed on one surface
side of the ultrasonic wave output unit, and has an output surface for outputting ultrasonic waves
on the side opposite to the surface in contact with the ultrasonic wave output unit. A fluid binder
holding recess is formed on the output surface, and when the output surface of the liquid
detection unit is brought into contact with the container, the fluid binder holding recess is filled
with the fluid binder to make the output surface a container. Make contact. Further, a tubular
recess forming member is provided on one surface side of the ultrasonic wave output unit, and
the acoustic impedance layer is filled in the recess forming member to form a flowable binder
holding recess, and an output surface is formed. An arrangement is disclosed for filling the
flowable binder holding recess with the flowable binder when contacting the container.
[0003]
JP, 2009-25179, A
[0004]
By the way, when detecting the state of a living body using an ultrasonic transducer, it is possible
to make an output side of a fluid unit given in patent documents 1 contact a living body, and to
transmit and receive an ultrasonic wave.
In order to detect the state of the living body well, it is preferable that the output surface be in
close contact with the living body. However, in Patent Document 1 described above, the flowable
binder holding recess is formed on the output surface, and the flowable binder holding recess is
filled with the flowable binder to be in contact with the living body. In this case, when the
flowable binder flows out from the flowable binder holding recess, the living body and the output
surface can not be brought into close contact with each other or air bubbles are generated
between the living body and the output surface. There is a problem that the sound wave is
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2
reflected and the correct detection process can not be performed. Therefore, it is conceivable to
flatten the output surface without providing the concave portion and press the living body
against the output surface to make close contact. However, in this case, although the living body
and the output surface are in close contact with each other, the output surface is bent inward,
and the ultrasonic wave transmitting / receiving surface of the ultrasonic transducer provided
adjacent to the acoustic impedance layer is also deformed. Further, a tubular recess forming
member is formed on one side of the ultrasonic wave output unit on which the ultrasonic wave
transmitting / receiving surface is provided, and an output surface is formed at an end of the
recess forming member to form the inside of the recess forming member. A configuration is also
conceivable in which an acoustic impedance layer of liquid is provided inside the sealed and
sealed recess forming member. However, even in this case, when the living body is in close
contact with the output surface, the internal pressure of the acoustic impedance layer of the
liquid increases due to the deflection of the output surface, and the ultrasonic wave receiving and
transmitting surface is also deformed by the internal pressure. As described above, when the
ultrasonic transducer is deformed, the displacement amount of the vibration of the ultrasonic
wave transmitting / receiving surface becomes small, and there is a problem that the ultrasonic
wave can not be transmitted / received properly.
[0005]
An object of the present invention is to provide an ultrasonic probe and an ultrasonic diagnostic
imaging apparatus capable of transmitting and receiving ultrasonic waves well.
[0006]
The ultrasonic probe according to the present invention comprises: a substrate having an
opening, a support film provided on the substrate and covering the opening, and a plan view
seen from the thickness direction of the support film on the support film A piezoelectric body
provided in the opening, a first resin portion forming a first space including the opening in the
plan view, a second resin portion communicating with the first space, the first space, A liquid
filled in the second space and a communication portion between the first space and the second
space, wherein a volume of the first space and a volume of the second space are changed
Preferably, the first resin portion and the second resin portion are deformable.
[0007]
In the present invention, when the first resin portion is pressed against a subject such as a
human body, the first resin portion is deformed, and the liquid in the first space flows into the
second space.
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That is, even if the ultrasonic probe is moved at the time of inspection, the adhesion between the
subject and the first resin portion is always good.
Therefore, even when the subject is in close contact with the first resin portion and the internal
pressure in the first space is high, deformation of the support film can be suppressed. Therefore,
when a voltage is applied to the piezoelectric body to vibrate the support film or when ultrasonic
waves are received and vibrated by the support film, the vibration of the support film is not
attenuated, and ultrasonic waves can be transmitted and received favorably.
[0008]
In the ultrasonic probe of the present invention, it is preferable that a plurality of the openings
have the same area and be provided at regular intervals, and the piezoelectric body is disposed in
each of the openings.
[0009]
In the present invention, since the ultrasonic wave can be transmitted and received by vibrating
the supporting film covering the opening, when acquiring an image of a reflected wave (echo) of
the ultrasonic wave, the same area is obtained at a constant interval. By arranging, it is possible
to acquire an image with high accuracy.
[0010]
In the ultrasonic probe according to the present invention, the opening of the substrate is formed
to penetrate in the thickness direction of the substrate, the support film covers one surface side
of the substrate, and the first resin portion is the support film. And a first concave portion
forming the first space by connecting the open end to the other surface side opposite to the one
surface side of the substrate, and the second resin portion It is preferable to have a second recess
that is open to the support film and that the open end is connected to the other surface side of
the substrate to form the second space.
[0011]
By the way, when the opening end of each recess is connected to the support film covering one
side of the substrate, if the inspection object is strongly adhered to the first resin portion facing
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the opening of the substrate, the contact portion Is in contact with the support film, and may be
in contact with the piezoelectric body provided on the support film.
This may damage the support film and the piezoelectric body.
In the present invention, the open ends of the first concave portion of the first resin portion and
the second concave portion of the second resin portion are connected to the other surface side of
the substrate not covered by the support film.
Therefore, the first space is formed to include the inner region of the opening in addition to the
inside of the first recess. Then, when the inspection target is in close contact with the first resin
portion and the contact portion is pressed and greatly bent toward the support film side, the
contact portion contacts the substrate. That is, the contact portion does not come in contact with
the support film or the piezoelectric body, and breakage of the support film or the piezoelectric
body can be prevented.
[0012]
In the ultrasonic probe according to the present invention, displacement detection means for
detecting displacement of the second resin portion, voltage displacement processing to the
piezoelectric body when displacement of the second resin portion is detected by the
displacement detection means, or It is preferable to include ultrasonic wave receiving and
transmitting means for performing detection processing of a signal output from the piezoelectric
body.
[0013]
In the present invention, the displacement detection means for detecting the displacement of the
second resin portion is provided.
For this reason, when the displacement detection means detects the displacement of the second
resin portion, it can be detected that the inspection object is in contact with the contact portion.
Therefore, after the displacement detection means detects the contact of the inspection object,
the ultrasonic wave can be reliably delivered to the inspection object by performing transmission
and reception of the ultrasonic waves by the ultrasonic wave receiving and transmitting means.
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[0014]
The ultrasonic probe according to the present invention comprises a housing, a liquid filling
space filled with liquid, and a part of the liquid filling space, located outside the housing, and
made of a flexible resin. A part of the liquid filling space, and a flexible part made of a flexible
resin, and transmitting and receiving an ultrasonic wave from the contact part.
[0015]
In the above configuration, since the liquid filled space is formed of the flexible contact portion
and the flexible flexible portion, when the contact portion is pressed against the object and the
contact portion is deformed, the flexible portion is followed accordingly. Also, since the contact
portion with the object can be always kept in close contact, ultrasonic waves can be transmitted
and received favorably from the contact portion.
[0016]
In the above-described ultrasonic probe of the present invention, the flexible portion may be
located outside the housing.
With this configuration, it is possible to visually check and confirm the deformation of the
flexible portion due to the deformation of the contact portion.
[0017]
In the above-described ultrasonic probe of the present invention, the flexible portion may be
located outside the housing.
With this configuration, since the flexible portion is not accidentally touched during the
operation, the adhesion between the contact portion and the subject is not deteriorated.
[0018]
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An ultrasonic diagnostic imaging apparatus according to the present invention includes any one
of the ultrasonic probes described above. In the present invention, as described above, the
adhesion between the subject and the contact portion is improved, and a highly accurate echo
image can be obtained.
[0019]
BRIEF DESCRIPTION OF THE DRAWINGS The schematic which shows the structure of the
ultrasound diagnostic imaging apparatus based on 1st Embodiment of this invention. It is a
principal part block diagram of the ultrasound probe used for the ultrasound diagnostic imaging
apparatus which concerns on the said 1st Embodiment, (A) shows an Example, (B) is a figure
which shows the modification of FIG. 2 (A). Sectional drawing which shows typically the principal
part of the ultrasound probe which concerns on the said 1st Embodiment. Sectional drawing
which shows the ultrasonic transducer which concerns on the said 1st Embodiment. FIG. 2 is a
schematic view showing an arrangement layout of the ultrasonic transducer according to the first
embodiment. Sectional drawing which shows typically the effect | action of the principal part of
the ultrasound probe which concerns on the said 1st Embodiment. Sectional drawing which
shows typically an effect | action of the principal part of the ultrasound probe which concerns on
2nd Embodiment of this invention. Sectional drawing which shows typically an effect | action of
the modification of the principal part of the ultrasonic probe which concerns on the said 2nd
Embodiment. The block diagram of the ultrasonic probe concerning a 3rd embodiment of the
present invention.
[0020]
First Embodiment Hereinafter, a first embodiment according to the present invention will be
described based on the drawings. FIG. 1 is a schematic view showing the configuration of the
ultrasound diagnostic imaging apparatus 300, and FIG. 2 is a main part configuration diagram of
an ultrasound probe 100 used for the ultrasound diagnostic imaging apparatus 300. As shown in
FIG. FIG. 3 is a cross-sectional view schematically showing the ultrasonic wave transmission /
reception unit 10 incorporated in the inspection apparatus 1 incorporated in the ultrasonic wave
probe 100. As shown in FIG.
[0021]
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[Configuration of Ultrasonic Diagnostic Imaging Apparatus] The ultrasonic diagnostic imaging
apparatus 300 of the present embodiment is configured of an ultrasonic probe 100 and an
ultrasonic observation apparatus 200, as shown in FIG. The ultrasonic probe 100 includes a
housing 100a, a cable 100b, and a connector 100c. The housing 100 a includes a contact portion
522 which is a portion in contact with the subject, and a flexible portion 532. The contact
portion 522 and the flexible portion 532 are exposed to the outside from the housing 100a. The
ultrasonic probe 100 is connected to the apparatus main body 200a of the ultrasonic
observation apparatus 200, and the operator sets driving conditions of the ultrasonic probe 100
by the operation unit 200b, and an echo image of the subject is displayed on the display monitor
200c. .
[0022]
The principal part block diagram of the ultrasound probe 100 used for an ultrasound diagnostic
imaging apparatus is shown to FIG. 2 (A). The contact portion 522 to be brought into contact
with the subject is formed of the flexible resin material 5. Similar to the contact portion 522, the
flexible portion 532 is formed of the resin material 5. Inside the ultrasonic transducer 4, an
ultrasonic transducer 4 in which a plurality of piezoelectric bodies 41 are arranged in an array is
provided. Then, a space S surrounded by the ultrasonic transducer 4 and the resin material 5 is
provided, the space S is divided into the first space S1 and the second space S2, and the first
space S1 and the second space S2 are separated by the communication space S3. It is in
communication. The space S is filled with an ultrasonic transmission medium 6 of liquid. That is,
the space S is a liquid filled space. When the contact portion 522 is pressed against the object,
the contact portion 522 deforms according to the surface irregularities of the object, and the
contact portion 522 and the object can be brought into close contact, and the object and the
ultrasonic transducer 4 It is possible to transmit ultrasonic waves between the two.
[0023]
The ultrasonic transducer 4 is connected to a control unit 8 that drives and controls the
piezoelectric body 4. The ultrasonic probe 100 of the present invention is configured to include
at least a contact portion 522, a flexible portion 532, a space S, an ultrasonic transmission
medium 6, an ultrasonic transducer 4, and a control portion 8. In the embodiment, the contact
portion 522 and the flexible portion 532 are formed of the same resin material 5, but may be
formed of different materials as long as the material is flexible. Further, in the embodiment of
FIG. 2A, the contact portion 522 and the flexible portion 532 are both exposed to the outside
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from the housing 100a, but the flexible portion 532 is necessarily necessarily exposed to the
outside. It may be a structure that is not In the ultrasonic wave receiving and transmitting unit
10 of the present invention, when the contact portion 522 is pressed and deformed, the flexible
portion 532 is deformed so as to expand accordingly, so that the flexible portion 532 is not
brought into contact with the outside as much as possible. It is desirable to do. A modification of
the embodiment of FIG. 2 (A) is shown in FIG. 2 (B). In this modification, the flexible portion 532
is provided inside the housing 100 a and can not touch the flexible portion 532 from the outside.
The fourth space S4, which is a space in which the flexible portion 532 is disposed,
communicates with the outside through the air hole 9. As a result, it is possible to prevent the
problem that the contact portion 522 becomes difficult to be deformed by pressing the flexible
portion 532 erroneously during work, and the adhesion with the subject is deteriorated.
[0024]
[Configuration of Ultrasonic Reception / Transmission Unit] As shown in FIG. 3, the ultrasonic
transmission / reception unit 10 of the inspection apparatus 1 includes a sensor array substrate
2 as a substrate, and a support film 3 stacked on the sensor array substrate 2. Ultrasonic wave
transmission of a plurality of ultrasonic transducers 4 for transmitting and receiving ultrasonic
waves, a resin material 5 for covering the support film 3 and forming a space S with the support
film 3, and liquid filled in the space S And the medium 6. The configuration of the ultrasonic
transducer 4 will be described later.
[0025]
The sensor array substrate 2 includes a first support 21 in which a plurality of ultrasonic
transducers 4 are arranged, and a second support 22 adjacent to the outer periphery of the first
support 21. It is formed of a semiconductor forming material such as crystalline silicon (Si). In
addition, the sensor array substrate 2 corresponds to the formation position of the ultrasonic
transducers 4 described later, and is a plan view of the sensor array substrate 2 seen from the
direction orthogonal to the substrate surface of the sensor array substrate 2 An opening 211
which is substantially circular in shape is formed. The radius a of the opening 211 is, for
example, 50 μm.
[0026]
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In addition, the support film 3 is formed on the sensor array substrate 2 with a uniform thickness
dimension. Thus, the opening 211 is closed by the support film 3. The thickness dimension h1 of
the support film 3 is, for example, 2 μm. Further, in the following description, in the support film
3, a region that closes the opening 211 is referred to as a diaphragm 30. Specifically, the support
film 3 is formed in a two-layer structure including an SiO 2 layer formed on the sensor array
substrate 2 and a ZrO 2 layer formed on the SiO 2 layer. For example, after forming a SiO2 layer
by thermally oxidizing the sensor array substrate 2 formed of Si, the supporting film 3 forms a Zr
layer and thermally oxidizes the Zr layer to form a ZrO2 layer. It is formed by The support film 3
has a two-layer structure including an SiO 2 layer and a ZrO 2 layer. However, in the following
calculation in the present embodiment, the Young's modulus E of the support film 3 is two layers
of the support film 3. Together, it will be about 70 GPa. Further, as described above, since the
radius a of the opening 211 is 50 μm, the radius a of the diaphragm 30 is also 50 μm and the
area is 7.85 × 10 <-3> (mm <2>). It becomes. In this case, the flexural rigidity D of the
diaphragm 30 is 5.13 × 10 <-8> (Pa · m <3>) when calculated from the following equation (1),
assuming that the Poisson's ratio を is 0.3. In the present embodiment, an example in which the
opening portion 211 is formed in a circular shape with good stress balance when the diaphragm
30 is bent is shown, but it may be formed in a rectangular shape or an elliptical shape, for
example.
[0027]
... (1) D: flexural rigidity (Pa · m <3>) E: Young's modulus (Pa) h: thickness dimension (m) ν:
Poisson's ratio
[0028]
Then, on the basis of the bending rigidity D, the maximum deflection amount ωmax of the
diaphragm 30 closing the opening 211 becomes 1.9 × 10 <−12> × q (m) when calculated from
the following equation (2) .
[0029]
... (2) ωmax: maximum deflection (m), q: load per unit area (Pa), a: radius of opening and flexible
portion (m)
[0030]
The resin material 5 is formed in close contact with the outer peripheral edge of the support film
3 on the sensor array substrate 2 so as to surround the sensor array substrate 2 and forms a
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space S sealed from the external space with the sensor array substrate 2 Do.
The space S is filled with the ultrasound transmission medium 6.
The resin material 5 is made of, for example, silicone rubber.
More specifically, the resin material 5 divides the space S into the first space S1 and the second
space S2, and the dividing portion 51 in which the communication holes 511 communicating the
respective spaces S1 and S2 are formed, and the dividing portion The first resin portion 52
forming the first space S1 on the first support portion 21 together with the 51 and the support
film 3, and the second space S2 on the second support portion 22 together with the partition
portion 51 and the support film 3 And a second resin portion 53.
[0031]
The first resin portion 52 opposes the first resin wall portion 521 erected on the outer peripheral
edge of the first support portion 21 of the sensor array substrate 2 and the first support portion
21, and the ultrasonic transmitting / receiving device 10 And a contact portion 522 facing the
one side. Here, the contact portion 522 is formed from the end portion of the first resin wall
portion 521 away from the support film 3 to the end portion of the partition portion 51 away
from the support film 3. That is, the first resin wall portion 521, the contact portion 522, and the
partition portion 51, which constitute the first resin portion of the present invention, are formed
by the first resin wall portion 521, the contact portion 522, and the partition portion 51. Is the
first recess of the present invention. Further, the first resin wall portion 521, the contact portion
522, and the partition portion 51 form a first space S1 sealed from the external space between
the first resin wall portion 521 and the support portion 3 formed on the sensor array substrate
2. There is.
[0032]
The second resin portion 53 is a second resin wall portion 531 erected along the outer
peripheral edge of the second support portion 22 provided on the support film 3 in the out-ofplane direction of the first support portion 21; A flexible portion 532 facing the support portion
21 and facing one surface of the ultrasonic wave transmission / reception device 10 is provided.
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Here, the flexible portion 532 is formed from the end of the second resin wall 531 away from the
support film 3 to the end of the partition 51 away from the support film 3. That is, the second
resin wall portion 531, the flexible portion 532 and the dividing portion 51 constitute the second
resin portion of the present invention, and the second resin wall portion 531, the flexible portion
532 and the dividing portion 51 The portion to be formed is the second recess of the present
invention. Further, the second resin wall portion 531, the flexible portion 532 and the partition
portion 51 form a second space S2 sealed from the external space between the second resin wall
portion 531 and the support portion 3 formed on the sensor array substrate 2. ing.
[0033]
The partitioning portion 51 is a portion that partitions the space S into the first space S1 and the
second space S2 as described above, and the first support portion 21 and the second support in
the sensor plan view on the support film 3 It is formed along the boundary with the portion 22.
Further, although the communication hole 511 formed in the partition 51 is formed between the
support film 3 and the partition 51 as shown in FIG. 3, the communication hole 511 may be
formed by penetrating the partition 51. Good. In addition, a plurality of communication holes
511 may be formed to connect the first space S1 and the second space S2 with respect to the
number of the communication holes 511 formed. In FIG. 3, one communication hole 511 may be
formed in a longitudinal shape along the direction orthogonal to the sheet of the drawing.
[0034]
The resin thickness 5 of the first resin wall portion 521 and the second resin wall portion 531 is,
for example, 1 mm, and the thickness dimension h2 of the contact portion 522 and the flexible
portion 532 is also the same. , 1 mm. Further, the height dimension H (the height dimension H of
the first resin wall portion 521, the second resin wall portion 531, and the dividing portion 51
from the support film 3) of the resin material 5 covering the support film 3 is 2 mm. . Further, in
the sensor plan view, the size of the contact portion 522 is 3 mm × 3 mm, and the size of the
flexible portion 532 is 3 mm × 2 mm. That is, the area of the flexible portion 532 is 6 (mm <2>).
Further, as described above, silicone rubber is used as the resin material 5, and the Young's
modulus E of this silicone rubber at normal temperature is about 4.0 × 10 << temperature
condition of normal temperature to human body temperature. 6> (Pa). In this case, when the
bending rigidity D of the flexible portion 532 is calculated using the above equation (1) with the
Poisson's ratio を being 0.5, 4.44 × 10 <-4> (Pa · m <3>) ). In the present embodiment, the shape
of the flexible portion 532 is a rectangular shape in a sensor plan view, but in order to make the
flexible portion 532 easy to be compared with the diaphragm 30 having a circular shape in a
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sensor plan view, the area of the flexible portion 532 Is 6 (mm <2>), here, assuming that the
flexible portion 532 is circular, the radius a is 1.5 × 10 <-3> (m). Then, on the basis of the
bending rigidity D, the maximum deflection amount ωmax of the flexible portion 532 becomes
1.78 × 10 <−10> × q (m) when it is calculated using the above equation (1)). . Although
silicone rubber is used as the resin material 5 in the present embodiment, the present invention
is not limited to this, and any material having similar physical properties may be used.
[0035]
Further, in the present embodiment, the volume of the first space S1 is formed to be larger than
the volume of the second space S2. The volume of each of the spaces S1 and S2 is not limited to
this, and the volume of the second space S2 may be formed larger than the volume of the first
space S1, or both may have substantially the same volume. In the present embodiment, only one
second space S2 is formed. However, for example, the second space S2 may be formed in two
places with the first space S1 interposed therebetween. The configuration may be such that the
entire outer periphery is formed.
[0036]
The ultrasound transmission medium 6 is for efficiently transmitting ultrasound. In the present
embodiment, since the inside of a human body is inspected with ultrasonic waves, a liquid having
an acoustic impedance substantially equal to the acoustic impedance of the human body, such as
water or saline, is used. In addition, as the ultrasonic transmission medium 6, a carboxymethyl
cellulose aqueous solution having a high viscosity, castor oil, liquid paraffin or the like may be
used.
[0037]
FIG. 4 is a cross-sectional view showing the ultrasonic transducer 4. FIG. 5 is a schematic view
showing the layout of the ultrasonic transducers 4. The ultrasonic transducer 4 is, for example,
an element that transmits an ultrasonic wave based on a signal from the control unit or receives
an ultrasonic wave and outputs the ultrasonic wave to the arithmetic control unit. A plurality of
the ultrasonic transducers 4 are provided on the first support portion 21 of the sensor array
substrate 2 as shown in FIG. 3, and for example, in the sensor plan view, as shown in FIGS. Ten
pieces are arranged in the lateral direction. Such an ultrasonic transducer 4 is composed of the
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first support portion 21 of the sensor array substrate 2, the support film 3, and the piezoelectric
body 41. As described above, the first support portion 21 is a portion where the ultrasonic
transducers 4 of the sensor array substrate 2 are disposed, and the openings 211 are formed at
the positions where the respective ultrasonic transducers 4 are formed. The support film 3 is
formed on the sensor array substrate 2 as described above, and forms the diaphragm 30 that
closes the opening 211.
[0038]
The piezoelectric body 41 is a film-like member formed on the diaphragm 30 at a central
position of the diaphragm 30. The piezoelectric body 41 is formed in a plan view circular shape
having a diameter L of, for example, 80 μm, and is formed smaller than the diameter (100 μm)
of the opening 211. Further, each piezoelectric body 41 is disposed such that the pitch P of each
piezoelectric body 41 is 200 μm. The piezoelectric body 41 includes a piezoelectric film 411
and electrodes (a lower electrode 412 and an upper electrode 413) for applying a voltage to the
piezoelectric film 411.
[0039]
The piezoelectric film 411 is formed, for example, of PZT (lead zirconate titanate) in a film shape.
In the present embodiment, PZT is used as the piezoelectric film 411, but any material may be
used as long as it can be contracted in the plane direction by applying a voltage. PbTiO3), lead
zirconate (PbZrO3), lead lanthanum titanate ((Pb, La) TiO3) or the like may be used. The lower
electrode 412 and the upper electrode 413 are electrodes formed to sandwich the piezoelectric
film 411. The upper electrode 413 and the lower electrode 412 are respectively drawn out by
unillustrated lead-out portions formed on the side of the opening portion 211 and connected to
the control portion of the inspection apparatus 1.
[0040]
In the ultrasonic transducer 4, when a predetermined drive voltage is applied between the
electrodes 412 and 413 of the piezoelectric body 41 from the control unit, the piezoelectric film
411 expands or contracts in the surface direction. As a result, the diaphragm 30 vibrates in the
film thickness direction, and ultrasonic waves having a frequency corresponding to the cycle of
the predetermined drive voltage are transmitted from the diaphragm 30 toward the contact
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portion 522. That is, the ultrasonic transducer 4 functions as a transmitter that transmits
ultrasonic waves toward the subject. The ultrasonic transducer 4 also functions as a receiver for
receiving the ultrasonic wave reflected inside the subject. In this case, the diaphragm 30 is
vibrated by the reflected ultrasonic wave, and an electric signal according to the amplitude and
frequency is output from the piezoelectric body 41 to the control unit via the lower electrode
412 and the upper electrode 413. Here, the control unit switches the mode of the ultrasonic
transducer 4 to either the ultrasonic wave transmission mode or the ultrasonic wave reception
mode, whereby the ultrasonic transducer 4 functions as either the reception unit or the
transmission unit. . In the present embodiment, each ultrasonic transducer 4 serves as both an
ultrasonic wave transmitter and a receiver, and the control unit switches the function to one of
the functions. A configuration may be adopted in which a plurality of dedicated transmission
transducers and a plurality of reception transducers dedicated to ultrasonic reception are
disposed. Further, in this case, the transmitting transducers and the receiving transducers may be
arranged on one array substrate, for example, alternately arranged, and a transmitting array
substrate including a plurality of transmitting transducers The receiving array substrate
configured by the plurality of receiving transducers may be arranged at different positions.
[0041]
[Operation of Inspection Apparatus] FIG. 6 is a cross-sectional view schematically showing the
operation of the inspection apparatus 1. In order to inspect the subject by the inspection
apparatus 1 described above, the ultrasonic probe 100 is mounted such that the subject is in
close contact with the contact portion 522 of the inspection apparatus 1. At this time, the
amount of deflection of the diaphragm 30 changes, but normally, if the maximum amount of
deflection ωmax of the diaphragm 30 is about 1.9 × 10 <−12> × q (m), the object adheres to
the contact portion 522 It will be in the
[0042]
As described above, when the ultrasonic probe 100 is attached, the contact portion 522 is bent
toward the support film 3 side. As a result, the volume of the first space S1 decreases and the
internal pressure of the first space S1 rises. Here, as described above, the bending rigidity D of
the diaphragm 30 is sufficiently larger than the bending rigidity D of the flexible portion 532.
For this reason, the ultrasonic transmission medium 6 in the first space S1 flows to the second
space S2 through the communication hole 511 by the increase of the internal pressure of the
first space S1, and the flexible portion 532 having a small bending rigidity D goes to the external
space Swell. Further, as described above, the maximum deflection amount ωmax of the
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diaphragm 30 is approximately 1.9 × 10 <-12> × q (m), and the maximum deflection amount
ωmax of the flexible portion 532 is 1.78 × 10 <− Since 10> × q (m) or so, only the flexible
portion 532 bulges, and the diaphragm 30 does not bend.
[0043]
Then, for example, when the operator operates the input button provided on the operation unit
200b (see FIG. 1) and an operation signal to start measurement is input to the control unit, the
control unit controls the electrode of the piezoelectric body 41 A predetermined drive voltage is
applied between 412 and 413. Thereby, each ultrasonic transducer 4 transmits an ultrasonic
wave from the diaphragm 30 toward the subject. Then, the ultrasonic waves are transmitted to
the inside of the object closely attached to the contact portion 522 through the contact portion
522 and the ultrasonic wave transmission medium 6 whose acoustic impedance is substantially
equal to that of the human body. Further, immediately after the transmission of the ultrasonic
wave, the control unit stops the voltage application to the electrodes 412 and 413 of the
ultrasonic transducer 4. That is, the control unit switches the ultrasound transducer 4 from the
ultrasound transmission mode to the ultrasound reception mode. On the other hand, when the
ultrasonic wave emitted from the ultrasonic transducer 4 is reflected inside the subject, it
propagates the ultrasonic wave transmission medium 6 again from the contact portion 522 and
is received by the diaphragm 30. Thus, the diaphragm 30 vibrates in accordance with the
intensity of the received ultrasonic wave, and a detection signal (current) is output from the
piezoelectric body 41 on the diaphragm 30 to the control unit. Then, the control unit measures
the echo image in the subject based on the input detection signal, and performs control to display
the echo image on the display monitor 200c (see FIG. 1) of the ultrasonic observation apparatus
200. .
[0044]
[Operation and Effect of First Embodiment] According to the inspection apparatus 1 of the first
embodiment described above, the following effects can be obtained. In the present embodiment,
a first space S1 is formed between a region closing the opening 211 of the support film 3 and the
first resin portion 52, and the ultrasound transmission medium 6 is filled in the first space S1.
ing. Since a liquid having an acoustic impedance substantially equal to that of the human body is
used as the ultrasonic transmission medium 6, ultrasonic waves can be transmitted well without
attenuation. In addition, a contact portion 522 is provided in a region facing the opening portion
211 of the first resin portion 52, and the subject adheres closely to the contact portion 522, so
that ultrasonic waves generated by the vibration of the diaphragm 30 can be detected. The
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ultrasonic waves transmitted to the inside and reflected from the inside of the subject can be
transmitted to the diaphragm 30. Here, as described above, when the subject is brought into
contact with the contact portion 522 of the first resin portion 52, the contact portion 522 bends,
and the internal pressure in the first space S1 increases. However, in the present embodiment,
the second resin portion 53 provides the second space S2 communicating with the first space S1,
and the second resin portion 53 has a bending rigidity D smaller than the bending rigidity D of
the diaphragm 30. A flexible portion 532 is provided. Therefore, even when the internal pressure
in the first space S1 is increased, the flexible portion 532 bulges to the external space side, and
the ultrasonic transmission medium 6 in the first space S1 flows to the second space S2.
Therefore, even when the subject is in close contact with the contact portion 522 and the
internal pressure in the first space S1 is increased, the deformation of the diaphragm 30 can be
suppressed. Therefore, when a voltage is applied to the piezoelectric body 41 to vibrate the
diaphragm 30, or when an ultrasonic wave is received and vibrated by the diaphragm 30, the
vibration of the diaphragm 30 is not attenuated and ultrasonic waves can be transmitted and
received favorably. .
[0045]
Second Embodiment Next, an inspection apparatus 1A according to a second embodiment will be
described based on the drawings. FIG. 7 is a cross-sectional view schematically showing the
operation of the inspection apparatus 1A according to the second embodiment. In the description
of the drawings, the same components as those of the embodiment described above are
designated by the same reference numerals, and the description thereof will be omitted. The
same applies to the following embodiments. The inspection apparatus 1A in the second
embodiment forms a space S between the sensor array substrate 2 and the resin material 5 and
arranges the support film 3 on the surface of the sensor array substrate 2 on the external space
side. It differs from the first embodiment. That is, the arrangement position of the ultrasonic
transducer 4 of the first embodiment is changed.
[0046]
In the inspection apparatus 1A, the support film 3 is disposed on the surface on the external
space side of the sensor array substrate 2, and the piezoelectric body 41 in the support film 3 is
opposite to the side facing the contact portion 522 of the first resin portion 52. It has the
composition arranged on a field. That is, the piezoelectric body 41 is disposed outside the first
space S1. In these configurations, the inside of the opening 211 of the first support 21 also
becomes the first space S1, and the inside of the opening 211 is also filled with the ultrasonic
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transmission medium 6. Further, in the ultrasonic transducer 4 in the first embodiment,
ultrasonic waves are transmitted from the surface of the piezoelectric film 411 opposite to the
side facing the support film 3. However, the ultrasonic transducer in the present embodiment is
In 4, ultrasonic waves are transmitted from the surface of the piezoelectric film 411 on the side
facing the support film 3.
[0047]
According to the inspection apparatus 1A of the second embodiment described above, even in
the configuration in which the ultrasonic wave is transmitted from the surface of the
piezoelectric film 411 facing the support film 3, the same effect as that of the first embodiment
can be obtained. Furthermore, the contact portion 522 is in contact with the first support portion
21 of the sensor array substrate 2 even if the contact portion 522 is pressed and greatly bent
toward the support film 3 by the object being in close contact with the contact portion 522.
Therefore, the piezoelectric body 41 and the support film 3 can be prevented from being
damaged without being in contact with the piezoelectric body 41 and the support film 3.
[0048]
Modification of Second Embodiment FIG. 8 is a cross-sectional view schematically showing an
operation of an inspection apparatus 1B according to a modification of the second embodiment.
In the present modification, a through hole 212 penetrating in the direction orthogonal to the
film thickness direction of the support film 3 is formed in the first support portion 21.
[0049]
Here, when the inside of the subject strongly presses the contact portion 522, the contact portion
522 may contact the first support portion 21, as shown in FIG. In this case, in the configuration
of the second embodiment as shown in FIG. 7, the first space S1 is divided by the first resin
portion 52, and the ultrasonic wave transmission medium on the second space S2 side of the first
space S1. 6 is likely to flow to the second space S2, but the ultrasonic transmission medium 6 on
the opposite side of the second space S2 side of the first space S1 may not easily flow to the
second space S2 by the first support portion 21. . Furthermore, when the contact portion 522
contacts the first support portion 21, the contact portion 522 may close the opening 211, and
the diaphragm 30 may be bent due to an increase in the internal pressure of the first space S1.
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[0050]
According to the configuration of the present modification shown in FIG. 8, even when the
contact portion 522 contacts the first support portion 21, the through hole 212 is formed in the
first support portion 21. The ultrasonic transmission medium 6 on the opposite side to the two
space S 2 side can flow toward the second space S 2 via the through hole 212. Therefore, the
same effects as those of the above embodiments can be obtained. In addition, when the contact
portion 522 contacts the first support portion 21, the contact portion 522 closes the opening
211 so that the diaphragm 30 can be prevented from bending due to the increase in the internal
pressure of the first space S1.
[0051]
Third Embodiment Next, an inspection apparatus 1C according to a third embodiment will be
described based on the drawings. The following description will be made with reference to FIGS.
3 and 4 as appropriate. FIG. 9 is a block diagram of an inspection apparatus 1C according to the
third embodiment. The inspection apparatus 1C according to the third embodiment controls the
inspection apparatus 1C by detecting a displacement sensor 7 as a displacement detection unit
that detects the displacement of the second resin portion 52, and a detection signal from the
displacement sensor 7. This embodiment differs from the above-described embodiments in that a
unit 8 is provided.
[0052]
The displacement sensor 7 detects the displacement of the flexible portion 532 of the second
resin portion 53. The displacement sensor 7 outputs a detection signal to the control unit 8 when
the displacement of the flexible portion 532 is detected. Here, as the displacement sensor 7, a
contact type sensor is used, and a sensor based on a differential transformer method can be
exemplified. In this case, the displacement is detected by the voltage difference generated in the
two coils by electromagnetic induction. In addition, it is not limited to a contact type sensor, but a
non-contact type sensor may be used, for example, a capacitance type that detects a
displacement by a change in capacitance, or an ultrasonic wave reflection time using an
ultrasonic sensor It is also possible to detect displacement by detecting displacement or by
disposing a strain detection element on the flexible portion 532.
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[0053]
The control unit 8 outputs a voltage signal to the electrodes 412 and 413 of the ultrasonic
transducer 4 and performs a process of measuring a blood flow state such as pulse and blood
pressure based on the voltage signal output from the piezoelectric body 41. A drive voltage
output unit 81 is provided as an ultrasonic wave transmission unit. The drive voltage output unit
81 outputs a voltage signal to the electrodes 412 and 413 of the ultrasonic transducer 4 when
the detection signal from the displacement sensor 7 is input. On the other hand, when there is no
input of a detection signal from the displacement sensor 7, the drive voltage output unit 81
detects that the subject is separated from the contact unit 522, and stops the output of voltage
signals to the electrodes 412 and 413. Perform the process. Further, the drive voltage output
unit 81 detects a voltage signal output from the piezoelectric body 41 which has received the
ultrasonic wave, and executes a process of measuring a blood flow state such as a pulse or blood
pressure based on the voltage signal. .
[0054]
First, when the subject is brought into contact with the contact portion 522, the contact portion
522 bends inward, and the ultrasonic wave transmission medium 6 in the first space S1 flows to
the second space S2 through the communication hole 511. Then, the flexible portion 532
constituting the second space S2 bulges, the displacement sensor 7 detects this displacement,
and outputs a detection signal to the drive voltage output unit 81 of the control unit 8. When the
detection signal is input from the displacement sensor 7, the drive voltage output unit 81 detects
that the subject is in contact with the contact unit 522, switches the ultrasonic transducer 4 to
the ultrasonic wave transmission mode, and detects the ultrasonic transducer 4. A voltage signal
is output to the electrodes 412 and 413 of the reducer 4. Thereby, as described above, the
electrodes 412 and 413 apply a predetermined voltage to the piezoelectric film 411 based on the
input voltage signal, and the diaphragm 30 transmits an ultrasonic wave to the contact portion
522. Then, the drive voltage output unit 81 switches the ultrasonic transducer 4 to the ultrasonic
wave reception mode. On the other hand, when the diaphragm 30 receives the ultrasonic wave
reflected from the subject in contact with the contact portion 522, it outputs a voltage signal to
the drive voltage output unit 81 of the control unit 8, and the drive voltage output unit 81
outputs this voltage signal Based on the process, the inside of the subject is imaged as an echo
image.
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[0055]
According to the inspection apparatus 1C of the third embodiment described above, the following
effects can be obtained in addition to the effects of the first embodiment. According to the
present embodiment, the control unit 8 can detect that the subject is in contact with the contact
unit 522, and the drive voltage output unit 81 of the control unit 8 outputs a voltage signal to
the electrodes 412 and 413. Therefore, only when the subject is in contact with the contact
portion 522, the ultrasonic wave can be reliably transmitted, and the ultrasonic wave can reliably
reach the subject.
[0056]
[Modification of the Embodiment] The present invention is not limited to the above-described
embodiment, and any modification, improvement, and the like within the range in which the
object of the present invention can be achieved are included in the present invention. In the
above embodiments, the space S is divided into the first space S1 and the second space S2 by the
dividing portion 51. However, the dividing portion 51 may not be provided. Even in this case,
when the subject contacts the contact portion 522 and the contact portion 522 bends inward,
the ultrasonic transmission medium 6 can flow in the space S, and the flexible portion 532 is
expanded. In the above embodiments, the first resin portion 52 and the second resin portion 53
are formed of the same material and the same thickness dimensions h2 and T, but may be
different materials or different thickness dimensions. Further, only the flexible portion 532 may
be made of different materials and different thickness dimensions. Also, the flexible portion 532
may be formed in a circular shape in a sensor plan view.
[0057]
In the above embodiments, the flexible portion 532 is formed to face the second support portion
22, but may be formed on the side of the second resin portion 53. In each of the above
embodiments, the size of the contact portion 522 of the first resin portion 52 is 3 mm × 3 mm
in the sensor plan view, but the present invention is not limited to this. The shape of the
inspection object contacting the contact portion 522 You may form according to the size. In each
of the above embodiments, the communication hole 511 for communicating the first space S1
and the second space S2 is provided, but the first space S1 and the second space S2 may be
communicated by a tubular member such as a tube, in this case In addition, the second space S2
may be formed only of the second resin portion 53 formed in a bag shape, and the second resin
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portion 53 may not be fixed to the support film 3 or the sensor array substrate 2.
[0058]
Although the second space S2 is formed on the second support portion 22 of the sensor array
substrate 2 in the embodiments shown in FIGS. 3 and 6 to 8 for the sake of convenience, the
present invention is not limited thereto. For example, as shown in FIG. 2 (A) and FIG. 2 (B), it may
be provided at a position different from the sensor array substrate 2. In the embodiment shown
in FIG. 2A, the flexible portion 532 is exposed in a part of the housing 100a, but in this case, the
amount of displacement of the flexible portion 532 is checked visually for example. Whether or
not a subject or the like is in close contact with the portion 522 can be easily determined. On the
other hand, in the modification shown in FIG. 2B, since the flexible portion 532 is not exposed
from the housing 100a, the flexible portion 532 is accidentally pressed during operation to
deteriorate the adhesion between the contact portion 522 and the subject The harmful effect of
doing is gone. That is, each of FIG. 2 (A) and FIG. 2 (B) has an inherent advantage. Although the
support film 3 is disposed on the sensor array substrate 2 in each of the above embodiments, the
support film 3 may be disposed only at a portion that blocks the opening 211 of the first support
portion 21. In each of the above embodiments, the opening 211 is formed to penetrate the
sensor array substrate 2. However, the present invention is not limited to this, and the opening
211 may be formed as a recess. In this case, the support film 3 is formed to close the opening of
the recess. Further, the support film 3 may be formed on the bottom of the recess.
[0059]
1, 1A, 1B, 1C: ultrasonic sensor, 2: sensor array substrate, 3: support film, 5: resin material, 6:
ultrasonic transmission medium, 7: displacement sensor (displacement detecting means), 41:
piezoelectric body, 52 first resin portion 53 second resin portion 81 driving voltage output
portion (ultrasonic wave transmitting means) 211 opening portion 412 lower electrode 413
upper electrode 522 contact portion contact portion 532 ... flexible part, S1 ... first space, S2 ...
second space.
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