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DESCRIPTION JP2014146883

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DESCRIPTION JP2014146883
Abstract: PROBLEM TO BE SOLVED: To provide an ultrasonic device for preventing damage to an
ultrasonic element. An ultrasonic element array substrate 20 having a plurality of ultrasonic
elements having a piezoelectric body and transmitting and receiving ultrasonic waves, and a
support member 30 fixed to one surface of the ultrasonic element array substrate 20. An
acoustic lens 50 fixed to the other surface of the ultrasonic element array substrate 20 and
having a lens portion 51 for focusing ultrasonic waves; and an acoustic matching layer 40
provided between the ultrasonic element array substrate 20 and the acoustic lens 50. And the
supporting member 30 has a larger area and a greater bending rigidity than the ultrasonic
element array substrate 20 in plan view in the thickness direction of the ultrasonic element array
substrate 20, and the acoustic lens 50 is an ultrasonic element array substrate The flexural
rigidity is smaller than 20. [Selected figure] Figure 3
Ultrasonic device, ultrasonic probe, electronic device and ultrasonic imaging apparatus
[0001]
The present invention relates to an ultrasonic device, an ultrasonic probe, an electronic device
and an ultrasonic imaging apparatus.
[0002]
Conventionally, ultrasonic elements that receive and transmit ultrasonic waves are known.
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For example, Patent Document 1 discloses an ultrasonic element (ultrasonic transducer) having a
structure in which an opening is provided in a substrate and a film, a first electrode, a
piezoelectric layer, and a second electrode are sequentially stacked on the opening. It is done. A
silicon substrate or the like is used as a substrate of the ultrasonic element, and first and second
electrodes and a piezoelectric layer formed of a thin film on the silicon substrate are provided.
[0003]
JP 2002-271897 A
[0004]
The ultrasonic element of the structure shown in Patent Document 1 has an opening in the
substrate made of brittle material, and thus has a structure that is easily damaged by an external
force.
In particular, when an impact force is applied to the acoustic lens from the outside in a drop or
the like, such a structure has a problem that the ultrasonic element or the ultrasonic element
substrate is easily broken.
[0005]
The present invention was made in order to solve at least a part of the above-mentioned subject,
and can be realized as the following modes or application examples.
[0006]
Application Example 1 An ultrasonic device according to this application example includes an
ultrasonic element array substrate including a piezoelectric body and having a plurality of
ultrasonic elements for performing at least one of transmission and reception of ultrasonic
waves, and the ultrasonic element array An acoustic lens having a lens portion fixed to the
surface of the substrate on which the ultrasonic element is formed via an acoustic matching layer
and focusing ultrasonic waves, and a surface of the ultrasonic element array substrate on which
the ultrasonic element is formed A supporting member fixed to the opposite surface, wherein the
supporting member has a larger area and a greater bending rigidity than the ultrasonic element
array substrate in plan view in the thickness direction of the ultrasonic element array substrate
The acoustic lens may be formed to have a smaller bending rigidity than the ultrasonic element
array substrate.
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[0007]
According to this configuration, the support member is fixed to one surface of the ultrasonic
element array substrate, and the acoustic lens is fixed to the other surface.
Further, the supporting member has a wider area than the ultrasonic element array substrate and
is formed to have a large bending rigidity, and the acoustic lens is formed to have a smaller
bending rigidity than the ultrasonic element array substrate.
As described above, since the ultrasonic element array substrate has a structure in which the
ultrasonic element array substrate is fixed to the supporting member having higher bending
rigidity than the ultrasonic element array substrate, the ultrasonic element array substrate is
reinforced and hardly warps. Furthermore, since the acoustic matching layer is provided between
the ultrasonic element array substrate and the acoustic lens, the acoustic lens having a small
bending rigidity and the acoustic matching layer absorb external forces to thereby form an
ultrasonic element array. The external force applied to the substrate can be alleviated, and
damage to the ultrasonic element array substrate can be suppressed.
[0008]
Application Example 2 In the ultrasonic device according to the application example, the acoustic
matching layer is provided between the ultrasonic element array substrate and the acoustic lens,
and the acoustic matching layer is the ultrasonic element array substrate. It is preferable to be
formed of a resin fixed to the acoustic lens.
[0009]
According to this configuration, the acoustic matching layer is made of resin, and an adhesive can
be used to bond the ultrasonic element array substrate to the acoustic lens.
Therefore, the ultrasonic element array substrate can be adhered to the acoustic lens, and the
hardened adhesive (resin) can function as an acoustic matching layer.
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[0010]
Application Example 3 In the ultrasonic device according to the application example, the acoustic
lens preferably includes a plurality of first convex portions in contact with the ultrasonic element
array substrate.
[0011]
According to this configuration, the acoustic lens has the first convex portion that regulates the
distance between the ultrasonic element array substrate and the lens portion of the acoustic lens.
Therefore, the distance between the surface of the ultrasonic element array substrate and the
lens portion can be easily set by setting the length of the first convex portion, and the distance
between the ultrasonic element array substrate and the lens portion can be set. The thickness of
the acoustic matching layer can be defined.
[0012]
Application Example 4 In the ultrasonic device according to the application example, it is
preferable that the first convex portion be provided on an outer peripheral portion of the
acoustic lens in the plan view.
[0013]
According to this configuration, the first convex portion is provided on the outer peripheral
portion of the acoustic lens.
In this way, the acoustic lens can be stably mounted on the ultrasonic element array substrate,
and the distance between the surface of the ultrasonic element array substrate and the lens
portion can be set with high accuracy.
[0014]
Application Example 5 The ultrasonic device according to the application example may further
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include a flexible printed wiring board connected on the other surface of the ultrasonic element
array substrate, the flexible printed wiring board being the ultrasonic element array substrate.
Preferably, the flexible printed wiring board is electrically connected, and a part of the flexible
printed wiring board is fixed to the support member.
[0015]
According to this configuration, the flexible printed wiring board connected to the side to which
the acoustic lens of the ultrasonic element array substrate is fixed is provided, and a part of the
flexible printed wiring board is fixed to the support member.
When a tensile force is applied to the flexible printed wiring board, a part of the flexible printed
wiring board is fixed to the support member, so that the force does not reach the connection part
with the ultrasonic element array substrate, but the connection part Peeling and breakage of the
ultrasonic element array substrate can be prevented.
[0016]
Application Example 6 In the ultrasonic device according to the application example, it is
preferable that a slope portion is provided on a part of the outer edge portion of the support
member, and the flexible printed wiring board is fixed to the slope portion.
[0017]
According to this configuration, the sloped portion is provided on a part of the outer edge
portion of the support member, and the flexible printed wiring board is fixed to the sloped
portion, so the flexible printed wiring board is not bent along the sloped portion Extend out.
Therefore, disconnection of the wiring of the flexible printed wiring board can be prevented, and
a highly reliable ultrasonic device can be provided.
[0018]
Application Example 7 In the ultrasonic device according to the application example described
above, the acoustic lens is in contact with the flexible printed wiring board, and the plurality of
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second convex that hold the flexible printed wiring board with the ultrasonic element array
substrate. It is preferable to have a part.
[0019]
According to this configuration, the second convex portion of the acoustic lens is in contact with
the flexible printed wiring board.
Therefore, the flexible printed wiring board can be pressed by the second convex portion, and the
floating of the flexible printed wiring board at the connection portion between the ultrasonic
element array substrate and the flexible printed wiring board can be prevented.
[0020]
Application Example 8 In the ultrasonic device according to the application example, the
electrical connection position of the flexible printed wiring board with the ultrasonic element
array substrate is the acoustic in plan view of the ultrasonic element array substrate in the
thickness direction. It is preferable to arrange | position between the said 2nd convex part of a
lens, and the said ultrasonic element.
[0021]
According to this configuration, since the connection position of the flexible printed wiring board
to the ultrasonic element array substrate is disposed inside the outer periphery of the acoustic
lens, the connection portion is not exposed, and this connection portion is the acoustic matching
layer. Can be protected.
[0022]
Application Example 9 In the ultrasonic device according to the application example described
above, the ultrasonic element array substrate is formed in the film thickness direction so as to
cover the openings and a base substrate in which a plurality of openings are arranged in an
array. And a piezoelectric body portion provided on the vibrating membrane, wherein the
piezoelectric body portion includes a first electrode provided on the vibrating membrane, and at
least a portion of the first electrode. And a second electrode provided to cover at least a part of
the piezoelectric layer.
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[0023]
According to this configuration, the ultrasonic element array substrate is provided on the base
substrate in which the plurality of openings are arranged in an array, the vibrating film which is
formed to cover the openings and is displaceable in the film thickness direction, and The
piezoelectric body portion is configured by laminating the first electrode, the piezoelectric body
layer, and the second electrode on the vibrating film.
The ultrasonic element array substrate of the ultrasonic device having such a configuration can
be miniaturized, and the ultrasonic device can be miniaturized.
[0024]
Application Example 10 An ultrasonic probe according to this application example is
characterized by including the above-described ultrasonic device and a case for supporting the
ultrasonic device.
[0025]
According to this configuration, the above-described ultrasonic device and a housing for
supporting the ultrasonic device are provided.
The ultrasonic probe of this application example is provided with an ultrasonic device for
preventing breakage of the ultrasonic element array substrate in a housing, and can provide a
highly reliable ultrasonic probe.
[0026]
Application Example 11 According to this application example, there is provided an electronic
instrument comprising: the ultrasonic device described above; and a processing circuit connected
to the ultrasonic device for processing the output of the ultrasonic device. Do.
[0027]
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According to this configuration, the ultrasound device described above and a processing circuit
that processes the output of the ultrasound device are provided.
The electronic device of this application example includes the ultrasonic device for preventing
the damage of the ultrasonic element array substrate, and can provide highly reliable electronic
device.
[0028]
Application Example 12 An ultrasonic imaging apparatus according to this application example
includes: the ultrasonic device described above; and a processing circuit which is connected to
the ultrasonic device and processes an output of the ultrasonic device to generate an image; And
a display unit for displaying the image.
[0029]
According to this configuration, the ultrasound device described above, a processing circuit that
processes the output of the ultrasound device to generate an image, and a display unit that
displays the image are provided.
The ultrasound imaging apparatus of this application example includes the ultrasound device
that prevents the breakage of the ultrasound element array substrate, and can provide a highly
reliable ultrasound imaging apparatus.
[0030]
BRIEF DESCRIPTION OF THE DRAWINGS The schematic external view which shows the structure
of the ultrasound imaging device of 1st Embodiment.
FIG. 2 is a partial cross-sectional view of the ultrasonic probe according to the first embodiment.
The expanded sectional view of the head part of the ultrasonic probe concerning a 1st
embodiment. FIG. 2 is a control block diagram of the ultrasound imaging apparatus of the first
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embodiment. FIG. 1 is a plan view of an ultrasonic device according to a first embodiment. FIG. 2
is a cross-sectional view of the ultrasonic device according to the first embodiment. FIG. 2 is a
cross-sectional view of the ultrasonic device according to the first embodiment. Explanatory
drawing which shows the structure of the acoustic lens of the ultrasonic device which concerns
on 1st Embodiment. FIG. 1 is a plan view showing a schematic configuration of an ultrasonic
element according to a first embodiment. BRIEF DESCRIPTION OF THE DRAWINGS Sectional
drawing which shows schematic structure of the ultrasonic element which concerns on 1st
Embodiment. FIG. 1 is a conceptual view showing a schematic configuration of an ultrasonic
element array substrate according to a first embodiment. FIG. 10 is a schematic external view
showing the configuration of another ultrasound imaging apparatus.
[0031]
Hereinafter, an embodiment of the present invention will be described with reference to the
drawings. In each drawing used for the following explanation, in order to make each member a
recognizable size, the ratio of the dimension of each member is appropriately changed. First
Embodiment
[0032]
In the present embodiment, as an example of the electronic apparatus, for example, an ultrasonic
imaging apparatus which inspects the inside of a human body will be described. (1) Overall
Configuration of Ultrasonic Image Apparatus FIG. 1 is a schematic external view of an ultrasonic
image apparatus according to the present embodiment. FIG. 2 is a partial cross-sectional view of
the ultrasonic probe, and FIG. 3 is an enlarged cross-sectional view of a head portion of the
ultrasonic probe.
[0033]
As shown in FIG. 1, the ultrasound imaging apparatus 100 includes an apparatus main body 110
and an ultrasound probe 130. The device body 110 and the ultrasonic probe 130 are connected
by a cable 120, and electrical signals can be exchanged between the device body 110 and the
ultrasonic probe 130 through the cable 120. A display panel or the like is incorporated in the
device body 110 as the display unit 112. In the present embodiment, the display unit 112 is a
touch panel display and doubles as a user interface unit (UI unit). In the device main body 110,
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an image is generated based on the ultrasonic waves detected by the ultrasonic probe 130, and
the detection result in the form of an image is displayed on the screen of the display unit 112.
The ultrasonic probe 130 includes a rectangular parallelepiped housing 132, and the cable 120
is connected to one end of the housing 132 in the longitudinal direction. And the head part 134
which transmits / receives an ultrasonic wave on the opposite side is provided. The ultrasonic
imaging apparatus 100 of the present embodiment is configured to connect the apparatus main
body 110 and the ultrasonic probe 130 with the cable 120, but without using the cable 120, the
apparatus main body 110 and the ultrasonic probe 130 are wirelessly connected. It may be in
the form of exchanging signals between them.
[0034]
As shown in FIGS. 2 and 3, in the ultrasonic probe 130, the ultrasonic device 1 is accommodated
in a housing 132. The surface of the ultrasonic device 1 is exposed on the surface of the head
portion 134 of the housing 132, and the surface of the head portion 134 outputs ultrasonic
waves to the object, and the reflected waves of ultrasonic waves from the object (echo waves )
Can be received.
[0035]
As shown in FIG. 3, there is a gap between the ultrasonic device 1 and the head part 134 of the
housing 132, and the gap is provided with a seal part 136 filled with a silicone-based seal
material. The seal portion 136 prevents moisture and the like from invading the ultrasonic device
1 of the housing 132 of the ultrasonic probe 130. Furthermore, it has a seal structure that seals
with a support member 30 of the ultrasonic device 1 described later. The seal structure here
includes an adhesive member 35 such as an elastic double-sided tape attached to the outer
peripheral portion of the support member 30 of the ultrasonic device 1 and an elastic doublesided tape attached to the housing 132. It is a structure hold | maintained in the state which
presses with the adhesion member 135. FIG.
[0036]
Further, a flexible printed wiring board (hereinafter sometimes referred to as FPC (Flexible
Printed Circuits)) 60 connecting the ultrasonic device 1 and the processing circuit intervenes in a
part of the seal portion, and the FPC 60 Are pressed by the bonding members 35 and 135. As the
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adhesive members 35 and 135, a double-sided tape in which an acrylic adhesive is applied to a
single foam such as polyethylene or urethane is used. As described above, the ultrasonic probe
130 according to the present embodiment adopts a double seal structure to prevent moisture
and the like from intruding into the housing 132.
[0037]
FIG. 4 is a control block diagram of the ultrasound imaging apparatus 100. As shown in FIG. The
ultrasonic imaging apparatus 100 includes the apparatus main body 110 and the ultrasonic
probe 130 as described above. The ultrasound probe 130 includes the ultrasound device 1 and a
processing circuit 150. The processing circuit 150 includes a selection circuit 152, a
transmission circuit 153, a reception circuit 154, and a control unit 155. The processing circuit
150 performs transmission processing and reception processing of the ultrasound device 1. The
transmission circuit 153 outputs the transmission signal VT to the ultrasound device 1 through
the selection circuit 152 in the transmission period. Specifically, the transmission circuit 153
generates a transmission signal VT based on the control of the control unit 155, and outputs the
transmission signal VT to the selection circuit 152. The selection circuit 152 outputs the
transmission signal VT from the transmission circuit 153 under the control of the control unit
155. The frequency and the amplitude voltage of the transmission signal VT can be set by the
control unit 155.
[0038]
The reception circuit 154 performs reception processing of the reception signal VR from the
ultrasound device 1. Specifically, the reception circuit 154 receives the reception signal VR from
the ultrasound device 1 through the selection circuit 152 in the reception period, and amplifies
the reception signal, sets the gain, sets the frequency, A / D conversion (analog / Perform
reception processing such as digital conversion). The result of the reception process is output to
the processing unit 116 of the device main body 110 as detection data (detection information).
The receiving circuit 154 can be configured by, for example, a low noise amplifier, a voltage
control attenuator, a programmable gain amplifier, a low pass filter, an A / D converter, or the
like. The control unit 155 controls the transmission circuit 153 and the reception circuit 154.
Specifically, the control unit 155 controls the transmission circuit 153 to generate and output
the transmission signal VT, and controls the reception circuit 154 to set the frequency and gain
of the reception signal VR. The selection circuit 152 outputs the selected transmission signal VT
based on the control of the control unit 155.
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[0039]
The device body 110 includes a display unit 112, a main control unit 115, a processing unit 116,
and a UI unit (user interface unit) 117. The main control unit 115 controls the ultrasonic probe
130 to transmit and receive ultrasonic waves, and controls the processing unit 116 to perform
processing such as image processing of detection data. The processing unit 116 receives the
detection data from the reception circuit 154 and performs necessary image processing,
generation of display image data, and the like. The UI unit 117 outputs a necessary command
(command) to the main control unit 115 based on an operation (for example, a touch panel
operation or the like) performed by the user. The display unit 112 is, for example, a liquid crystal
display, and displays the display image data from the processing unit 116. The control unit 155
of the processing circuit 150 may perform part of the control performed by the main control unit
115, or the main control unit 115 may perform part of the control performed by the control unit
155.
[0040]
(2) Configuration of Ultrasonic Device Next, the configuration of the ultrasonic device
incorporated into the ultrasonic probe will be described. FIG. 5 is a plan view showing the
configuration of the ultrasonic device, which corresponds to a view of the ultrasonic probe in FIG.
3 as viewed in the direction of arrow H. 6 is a cross-sectional view taken along line A-A in FIG. 5,
and FIG. 7 is a cross-sectional view taken along line B-B in FIG. As shown in FIGS. 5, 6 and 7, the
ultrasonic device 1 includes an ultrasonic element array substrate 20, a support member 30, an
acoustic matching layer 40, an acoustic lens 50, and a flexible printed circuit board (FPC) 60.
[0041]
The ultrasonic element array substrate 20 has an element substrate 21 and a back plate 22. The
element substrate 21 is a substrate on which a plurality of ultrasonic elements are arranged in an
array, and has a rectangular shape in plan view. The element substrate 21 is formed using a
silicon substrate and has a thickness of approximately 150 μm to 200 μm. A back plate 22
formed in the same planar shape as the element substrate 21 is bonded to the surface of the
element substrate 21 opposite to the element formation surface. The back plate 22 serves to
suppress extra vibration of the element substrate 21 and a silicon substrate having a thickness of
approximately 500 μm to 600 μm is used. The back plate 22 may use a metal plate in addition
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to the silicon substrate. In some cases, the ultrasound device 1 may be configured without using
the back plate 22. Details of the ultrasonic element array substrate 20 will be described later.
[0042]
The support member 30 is fixed via the adhesive layer 33 on the side (one side) where the
ultrasonic elements of the ultrasonic element array substrate 20 are not formed, that is, the
surface of the back plate 22 in the present embodiment. The adhesive layer 33 is formed of an
adhesive, double-sided tape or the like.
[0043]
The support member 30 has a flat portion 36 to which the ultrasonic element array substrate 20
is fixed, and the flat portion 36 is formed on the bottom surface of the recess 37 and is
configured to facilitate positioning of the ultrasonic element array substrate 20. (See Figure 6).
The support member 30 is formed of metal or resin such as acrylic resin or ABS resin. As
described above, the support member 30 is formed to have a wider area than the ultrasonic
element array substrate 20 in plan view in the thickness direction of the ultrasonic element array
substrate 20, and the contact between the ultrasonic element array substrate 20 and other
components is avoided. ing. Furthermore, the bending rigidity of the support member 30 is
formed larger than that of the ultrasonic element array substrate 20 by securing a sufficient
thickness to support the flat portion 36 of the support member 30.
[0044]
A slope 31 is provided on the outer edge of the surface of the support member 30 to which the
ultrasonic element array substrate 20 is fixed. The sloped portion 31 is formed so as to extend
away from the ultrasonic element array substrate 20 as shown in FIG.
[0045]
Further, mounting portions 32 a and 32 b for mounting on the casing 132 of the abovedescribed ultrasonic probe 130 are formed on the support member 30. The mounting portions
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32a and 32b have through holes 38a and 38b, respectively, and are arranged such that axial
directions of mounting screws passing through the through holes 38a and 38b are orthogonal to
each other (see FIG. 6). Therefore, the support member 30 can be firmly fixed to the housing 132
of the ultrasonic probe 130. The shape and arrangement of the attachment portions 32 a and 32
b can be appropriately designed according to the shape of the housing 132.
[0046]
On the surface (other surface) on which the ultrasonic elements of the ultrasonic element array
substrate 20 are formed, a plurality of terminals (not shown) connected to a plurality of
ultrasonic elements along long sides opposed in plan view Is exposed. The terminal and the
terminal (not shown) of the FPC 60 are connected to each other to make an electrical connection.
The FPC 60 is adhered and fixed to the inclined surface portion 31 of the support member 30 by
an adhesive, an adhesive member 35 such as a double-sided adhesive tape. Thus, since a part of
the FPC 60 is fixed to the support member 30, when a tensile force is applied to the FPC 60, it
does not reach the connection part of the ultrasonic element array substrate 20, and peeling of
the connection part and ultrasonic wave Damage to the element array substrate 20 can be
prevented. Further, since the slope portion 31 is provided at the outer edge portion of the
support member 30 and the FPC 60 is fixed to the slope portion 31, the FPC 60 extends along
the slope portion 31 without being bent. For this reason, disconnection of the wiring can be
prevented without bending the FPC 60.
[0047]
An acoustic lens 50 having the same planar shape as that of the ultrasonic element array
substrate 20 is disposed on the surface (the other surface) of the ultrasonic element array
substrate 20 on which the ultrasonic elements are formed. The acoustic lens 50 is formed of a
resin such as silicone resin. The acoustic impedance can be adjusted by adding silica or the like
to this silicone resin to change the specific gravity. The acoustic lens 50 is formed to have
smaller bending rigidity than the ultrasonic element array substrate 20.
[0048]
An acoustic matching layer 40 is formed between the ultrasonic element array substrate 20 and
the acoustic lens 50. The acoustic matching layer 40 uses a silicone-based adhesive, and the
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curing of the adhesive causes the ultrasonic element array substrate 20 and the acoustic lens 50
to adhere (adhere), and the cured adhesive functions as an acoustic matching layer. . As
described above, the cured adhesive is filled between the ultrasonic element array substrate 20
and the acoustic lens 50 without any gap.
[0049]
The acoustic lens 50 efficiently guides the ultrasonic waves emitted from the ultrasonic elements
of the ultrasonic element array substrate 20 to the object, and efficiently guides the echo waves
reflected and returned from the object to the ultrasonic elements. Play a role. The acoustic
matching layer 40 serves to reduce the acoustic impedance mismatch between the ultrasonic
element and the acoustic lens 50. That is, the acoustic matching layer 40 is adjusted so that the
acoustic impedance is in the middle between the ultrasonic element array substrate 20 and the
acoustic lens 50.
[0050]
Here, the configuration of this acoustic lens 50 is shown in FIG. FIG. 8 (a) is a plan view from the
top of the acoustic lens 50, and FIG. 8 (b) is a rear plan view thereof. 8 (c) is a partial crosssectional view taken along the line C-C in FIG. 8 (a), and FIG. 8 (d) is a partial cross-sectional view
taken along the line D-D in FIG. 8 (a).
[0051]
On one surface of the acoustic lens 50, a lens portion 51 which is convex in the thickness
direction with a predetermined curvature and a convex portion 52 in the form of a protrusion are
provided on the opposite surface. As shown in FIG. 8B, the convex portion 52 formed on the back
surface of the acoustic lens 50 is provided on a first convex portion 52a provided on the outer
peripheral portion of the short side of the acoustic lens 50 and on the outer peripheral portion of
the long side. The second convex portion 52b is provided. As shown in FIG. 8C, the first convex
portion 52a and the second convex portion 52b are configured to rise from the base material
having the same thickness, and the lengths of the convex portions are different. Here, the length
of the first protrusion 52a is longer than that of the second protrusion 52b. The J dimension,
which is the difference between the lengths of the protrusions, is the same as the thickness of the
FPC 60. Further, as shown in FIG. 8D, the K dimension which is the length from the base of the
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first convex portion 52 a is set to the same dimension as the thickness of the acoustic matching
layer 40. The thickness of the acoustic matching layer 40 corresponds to the wavelength λ of
the ultrasonic wave to be used, and is set to, for example, 1 / 4λ.
[0052]
Referring back to FIGS. 5 to 7, in a state where the acoustic lens 50 is fixed to the ultrasonic
element array substrate 20, the first convex portion 52a contacts the surface of the ultrasonic
element array substrate 20 (see FIG. 6), The convex portion 52b contacts the FPC 60 (see FIG. 7).
As described above, the FPC 60 can be pressed by the second convex portion 52 b, and the
floating of the FPC 60 at the connection portion between the ultrasonic element array substrate
20 and the FPC 60 can be prevented. Further, by setting the length dimension of the first convex
portion 52a, the distance between the surface of the ultrasonic element array substrate 20 and
the lens portion 51 can be easily set, and the acoustic matching layer 40 formed therebetween is
formed. It is possible to set the thickness accurately. Furthermore, the first convex portion 52a
and the second convex portion 52b are provided on the outer peripheral portion of the acoustic
lens 50, and the connection position of the FPC 60 with the ultrasonic element array substrate
20 is disposed inside the outer periphery of the acoustic lens 50. . Therefore, the acoustic lens 50
can be stably placed on the ultrasonic element array substrate 20. Further, the excess adhesive
forming the acoustic matching layer 40 is the first convex portion 52a and the second convex
portion 52b. Flow out through the gap between the two, and the air bubbles can be prevented
from remaining in the acoustic matching layer 40. Furthermore, since the connection position of
the FPC 60 with the ultrasonic element array substrate 20 is disposed inside the outer periphery
of the acoustic lens 50, the connection portion is not exposed, and the connection portion is
protected by the acoustic matching layer 40. it can.
[0053]
As described above, in the ultrasonic device 1 described above, the support member 30 is fixed
to one surface of the ultrasonic element array substrate 20, and the acoustic lens 50 is fixed to
the other surface. Further, the supporting member 30 has a wider area than the ultrasonic
element array substrate 20 and has a large bending rigidity, and the acoustic lens 50 has a
bending rigidity smaller than that of the ultrasonic element array substrate 20. As described
above, since the ultrasonic element array substrate 20 has a structure in which the ultrasonic
element array substrate 20 is fixed to the support member 30 having a greater bending rigidity
than the ultrasonic element array substrate 20, the ultrasonic element array substrate 20 is
reinforced to prevent damage due to external force. can do. Furthermore, since the acoustic
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matching layer 40 is provided between the ultrasonic element array substrate 20 and the
acoustic lens 50, the external force is absorbed by the acoustic lens 50 with small bending
rigidity and the acoustic matching layer to The effect of reducing the external force applied to
the acoustic wave element array substrate 20 is obtained. In addition, the ultrasonic device 1 has
the ultrasonic element array substrate 20, the support member 30, the acoustic lens 50, and the
acoustic matching layer 40 integrated, and when the ultrasonic element array substrate 20 needs
to be replaced, the ultrasonic device It is sufficient to replace 1 and is easy to replace.
[0054]
(3) Ultrasonic Element and Ultrasonic Element Array Substrate Next, an ultrasonic element and
an ultrasonic element array substrate (element substrate) of the present embodiment will be
described. FIG. 9 is a schematic plan view of the ultrasonic element of the present embodiment.
FIG. 10 is a schematic cross-sectional view showing a cross section taken along the line E-E in
FIG. FIG. 11 is an explanatory view showing a schematic configuration of the ultrasonic element
array substrate 20 of the present embodiment.
[0055]
As shown in FIGS. 9 and 10, the ultrasonic element 10 comprises a base substrate 11, a vibrating
membrane (membrane) 13 formed on the base substrate 11, and a piezoelectric portion 18
provided on the vibrating membrane 13. Have. The piezoelectric portion 18 has a first electrode
14, a piezoelectric layer 15, and a second electrode 16.
[0056]
The ultrasonic element 10 has an opening 12 in a base substrate 11 such as silicon, and includes
a vibrating film 13 that covers and closes the opening 12. The opening 12 is formed by etching
by reactive ion etching (RIE) or the like from the back surface (surface on which no element is
formed) side of the base substrate 11. The vibrating film 13 is formed of, for example, a twolayer structure of an SiO 2 layer and a ZrO 2 layer. Here, when the base substrate 11 is a Si
substrate, the SiO 2 layer can be formed by thermally oxidizing the surface of the substrate. The
ZrO 2 layer is formed on the SiO 2 layer by a method such as sputtering. Here, the ZrO 2 layer is
a layer for preventing the diffusion of Pb constituting the PZT into the SiO 2 layer when, for
example, PZT is used as the piezoelectric layer 15 described later. In addition, the ZrO 2 layer
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also has an effect of improving the deflection efficiency with respect to the strain of the
piezoelectric layer.
[0057]
The first electrode 14 is formed on the vibrating film 13, the piezoelectric layer 15 is formed on
the first electrode 14, and the second electrode 16 is formed on the piezoelectric layer 15. That
is, the piezoelectric layer 15 is sandwiched between the first electrode 14 and the second
electrode 16 to constitute the piezoelectric portion 18.
[0058]
When the first electrode 14 is formed of a metal thin film and includes a plurality of ultrasonic
elements, the first electrode 14 may be a wiring extended to the outside of the element formation
region as shown in FIG. 9 and connected to the adjacent ultrasonic elements. . The piezoelectric
layer 15 is formed of, for example, a PZT (lead zirconate titanate) thin film, and is provided so as
to cover at least a part of the first electrode 14. The material of the piezoelectric layer 15 is not
limited to PZT. For example, lead titanate (PbTiO3), lead zirconate (PbZrO3), lead lanthanum
titanate ((Pb, La) TiO3), etc. may be used. It is also good. The second electrode 16 is formed of a
metal thin film, and is provided to cover at least a part of the piezoelectric layer 15. When the
plurality of ultrasonic elements are provided, the second electrode 16 may be a wire which is
extended to the outside of the element formation region as shown in FIG. 9 and is connected to
an adjacent ultrasonic element.
[0059]
The piezoelectric layer 15 expands and contracts in the in-plane direction by applying a voltage
between the first electrode 14 and the second electrode 16, that is, between the first electrode
14 and the second electrode 16. Therefore, when a voltage is applied to the piezoelectric layer
15, a deflection that is convex toward the opening 12 occurs, and the diaphragm 13 is deflected.
By applying an alternating voltage to the piezoelectric layer 15, the vibrating film 13 vibrates in
the film thickness direction, and ultrasonic waves are emitted from the opening 12 by the
vibration of the vibrating film 13. The voltage (drive voltage) applied to the piezoelectric layer 15
is, for example, 10 to 30 V from peak to peak, and the frequency is, for example, 1 to 10 MHz.
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[0060]
The ultrasonic element 10 also operates as a receiving element that receives an ultrasonic echo
that is emitted from the object and reflected back by the object. The vibration film 13 is vibrated
by the ultrasonic echo, and stress is applied to the piezoelectric layer 15 by the vibration, so that
a voltage is generated between the first electrode 14 and the second electrode 16. This voltage
can be taken out as a received signal.
[0061]
An ultrasonic element array substrate in which the above ultrasonic elements 10 are arranged in
an array will be described. FIG. 11 shows the configuration of the ultrasonic element array
substrate of the present embodiment. The ultrasonic element array substrate 20 includes a
plurality of ultrasonic elements 10 arranged in an array, a drive electrode line DL, and a common
electrode line CL. The plurality of ultrasonic elements 10 are arranged in a matrix of m rows and
n columns. In the present embodiment, eight rows are arranged along the first direction D1, and
twelve rows are arranged along the second direction D2 intersecting the first direction D1. The
drive electrode lines DL1 to DL12 are wired along the first direction D1.
[0062]
During a transmission period in which ultrasonic waves are emitted, the transmission signals VT1
to VT12 output from the processing circuit 150 described above are supplied to the respective
ultrasonic elements 10 via the drive electrode lines DL1 to DL12. Further, in the reception period
for receiving the ultrasonic echo signal, the reception signals VR1 to VR12 from the ultrasonic
element 10 are output to the processing circuit 150 via the drive electrode lines DL1 to DL12.
The common electrode lines CL1 to CL8 are wired along the second direction D2. The common
voltage VCOM is supplied to the common electrode lines CL1 to CL8. The common voltage may
be a constant DC voltage, and may not be 0 V, that is, not the ground potential (ground potential).
[0063]
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The arrangement of the ultrasonic elements 10 is not limited to the matrix arrangement of m
rows and n columns shown in FIG. In the transmission period, the voltage of the difference
between the transmission signal voltage and the common voltage is applied to each of the
ultrasonic elements 10, and ultrasonic waves of a predetermined frequency are emitted.
[0064]
As described above, the ultrasound imaging apparatus and the ultrasound probe according to the
present embodiment include the ultrasound device 1 for preventing the breakage of the
ultrasound element array substrate 20, and the highly reliable ultrasound imaging apparatus 100
and the ultrasound An acoustic probe 130 can be provided.
[0065]
Although the portable ultrasonic imaging apparatus is shown in the above embodiment, FIG. 12
shows a specific configuration example of the ultrasonic imaging apparatus of another
embodiment.
The ultrasound imaging apparatus 101 is a stationary ultrasound imaging apparatus, and
includes an ultrasound probe 130. The ultrasonic imaging apparatus 101 includes an apparatus
main body (electronic apparatus main body) 111, a display unit 113 for displaying display image
data, a user interface unit (UI unit) 117, an ultrasonic probe 130, and a cable 120. Even with
such a stationary ultrasound imaging apparatus, the effects of the present invention can be
exhibited. In addition, the ultrasonic imaging apparatus of the present embodiment can be used
to measure fat thickness, muscle thickness, blood flow, bone density and the like of a living body.
[0066]
The present invention is not limited to the embodiments described above, and the specific
structure and procedure in carrying out the present invention may be appropriately changed to
other structures and the like as long as the object of the present invention can be achieved. it
can. And, many variations are possible within the technical idea of the present invention by those
having ordinary skill in the art.
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[0067]
DESCRIPTION OF SYMBOLS 1 ... Ultrasonic device, 10 ... Ultrasonic element, 11 ... Base substrate,
12 ... Opening part, 13 ... Vibrating film, 14 ... 1st electrode, 15 ... Piezoelectric layer, 16 ... 2nd
electrode, 18 ... Piezoelectric part 20: ultrasonic element array substrate, 21: element substrate,
22: back plate, 30: support member, 31: slope portion, 32a, 32b: attachment portion, 33:
adhesive layer, 35: adhesive member, 36: flat portion , 37: recess, 38a, 38b through hole, 40:
acoustic matching layer, 50: acoustic lens, 51: lens portion, 52: convex portion, 52a: first convex
portion, 52b: second convex portion, 60: flexible Printed wiring board (FPC), 100, 101 ...
ultrasonic imaging device, 110 ... device main body, 112, 113 ... display unit, 115 ... main control
unit, 116 ... processing unit, 117 ... user interface unit (UI unit), 120 ... cable, 1 DESCRIPTION OF
SYMBOLS 0 ... Ultrasonic probe, 132 ... Housing | casing, 134 ... Head part, 135 ... Bonding part,
136 ... Sealing part, 150 ... Processing circuit, 152 ... Selection circuit, 153 ... Transmission circuit,
154 ... Reception circuit, 155 ... Control part .
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