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DESCRIPTION JP2015084788

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DESCRIPTION JP2015084788
An ultrasonic device capable of efficiently receiving and transmitting ultrasonic waves by
suppressing deformation of an acoustic lens. An ultrasonic element array substrate 14 having a
plurality of ultrasonic elements 36 for transmitting and / or receiving ultrasonic waves, an
acoustic lens 16 for converging ultrasonic waves, an ultrasonic element array substrate 14 and
an acoustic lens And a plurality of columnar space maintaining portions 24 in contact with the
ultrasonic element array substrate 14 and the acoustic lens 16 disposed in the acoustic matching
portion 15. The space maintaining unit 24 keeps the thickness of the acoustic matching unit 15
constant. [Selected figure] Figure 7
Ultrasonic device, ultrasonic probe head, ultrasonic probe, electronic device and ultrasonic
imaging apparatus
[0001]
The present invention relates to an ultrasonic device, an ultrasonic probe head, an ultrasonic
probe, an electronic device, and an ultrasonic imaging apparatus.
[0002]
Ultrasonic devices using ultrasonic elements that transmit and receive ultrasonic waves are used
in various applications.
Patent Document 1 discloses an ultrasonic endoscope provided with an ultrasonic element.
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According to it, the ultrasonic endoscope was provided with a capacitive ultrasonic element for
receiving and transmitting ultrasonic waves, and an acoustic lens for focusing the ultrasonic
waves.
[0003]
The ultrasonic element applies an alternating voltage to the substrate on which the lower
electrode is installed and the membrane on which the upper electrode is installed. Thereby,
electrostatic force acts on the substrate and the membrane, and the membrane vibrates to
transmit an ultrasonic wave. The ultrasonic waves are emitted so as to converge on a
predetermined place by passing through the acoustic lens. The acoustic lens is formed of silicone
resin, and the material easily transmits ultrasonic waves to the subject and is easily deformed
when stress is applied.
[0004]
JP, 2011-35916, A
[0005]
The acoustic lens is likely to propagate ultrasonic waves when in contact with the object.
Then, since the position of the acoustic lens is controlled by the operator, the acoustic lens may
be pressed by the subject. In Patent Document 1, the periphery of the acoustic lens is supported
by a metal package. Therefore, when stress is applied from the subject to the acoustic lens, the
center is easily deformed since the acoustic lens is held on the outer periphery. When the
acoustic lens is deformed, the place where the ultrasound converges moves, and the sound
pressure of the ultrasound at the place where the ultrasound is scheduled to fall is reduced.
Therefore, an ultrasonic device capable of efficiently receiving and transmitting ultrasonic waves
while suppressing deformation of an acoustic lens has been desired.
[0006]
The present invention has been made to solve the above-described problems, and can be realized
as the following modes or application examples.
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[0007]
Application Example 1 In the ultrasonic device according to the application example, an
ultrasonic element array substrate having a plurality of ultrasonic elements for performing at
least one of transmission and reception of ultrasonic waves, and an acoustic lens for focusing the
ultrasonic waves. An acoustic matching portion disposed between the ultrasonic element array
substrate and the acoustic lens and formed of a resin, and the ultrasonic element array substrate
disposed between the ultrasonic element array substrate and the acoustic lens And a plurality of
columnar space maintaining portions in contact with the acoustic lens.
[0008]
According to this application example, a plurality of ultrasonic elements are installed on the
ultrasonic element array substrate.
The ultrasonic element transmits or receives ultrasonic waves.
Alternatively, the ultrasonic element transmits and receives ultrasonic waves. The ultrasonic
wave emitted by the ultrasonic element passes through the acoustic matching unit and the
acoustic lens and is emitted to the subject. The acoustic matching unit adjusts the acoustic
impedance between the ultrasonic element and the acoustic lens. This makes it difficult for the
ultrasonic wave to be reflected at the interface between the ultrasonic element and the acoustic
matching unit, and makes it difficult for the ultrasonic wave to be reflected at the interface
between the acoustic matching unit and the acoustic lens. Therefore, the ultrasonic waves are
efficiently emitted to the subject.
[0009]
The acoustic lens is used in contact with the subject. At this time, the acoustic lens is pressed by
the subject, and stress is generated inside the acoustic lens. Since the resin of the acoustic
matching portion is easily deformed, it is deformed by the stress of the acoustic lens. On the
other hand, the columnar spacing maintaining part is in contact with the acoustic lens and the
ultrasonic element array substrate, and transmits the stress of the acoustic lens to the ultrasonic
element array substrate. Further, since the thickness of the acoustic matching portion is
maintained constant, it is possible to suppress the deformation of the acoustic lens and to focus
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the ultrasonic waves with high accuracy. Furthermore, since the deformation of the acoustic lens
is suppressed, the ultrasonic wave reflected by the object can be converged on the ultrasonic
element with high accuracy. As a result, the ultrasonic device can efficiently receive and transmit
ultrasonic waves.
[0010]
Application Example 2 In the ultrasonic device according to the application example described
above, the space maintaining portion is installed at a position not overlapping with the ultrasonic
element in a plan view seen from the thickness direction of the ultrasonic element array
substrate. I assume.
[0011]
According to this application example, the space maintaining unit is installed at a position not
overlapping the ultrasonic element.
An acoustic matching portion made of resin is superimposed on the ultrasonic element.
Therefore, the ultrasonic device can emit an ultrasonic wave whose acoustic impedance has been
adjusted by the acoustic matching unit. Furthermore, in the ultrasonic device, the acoustic
matching unit can adjust the acoustic impedance of the incident ultrasonic waves and emit the
ultrasonic waves to the ultrasonic element.
[0012]
Application Example 3 In the ultrasonic device according to the application example, the space
maintaining portion is disposed extending in a wall shape between the ultrasonic elements, and
passes ultrasonic waves in the in-plane direction of the ultrasonic element array substrate. It is
characterized by making it difficult to do.
[0013]
According to this application example, the space maintaining portion is disposed to extend in a
wall shape between the ultrasonic elements.
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The space maintaining portion makes it difficult for ultrasonic waves in the in-plane direction of
the ultrasonic element array substrate to pass, and regulates the propagation direction of the
ultrasonic waves. The in-plane direction of the ultrasonic element array substrate is a direction
parallel to the surface of the ultrasonic element array substrate. Therefore, it is possible to
suppress the mutual influence of the ultrasonic elements positioned across the space maintaining
portion when transmitting and receiving ultrasonic waves.
[0014]
Application Example 4 In the ultrasonic device according to the application example described
above, the space maintaining portion has lower permeability than the acoustic matching portion,
and is disposed so as to cover a wire for transmitting an electric signal to the ultrasonic element.
[0015]
According to this application example, the space maintaining portion is disposed to cover the
wiring.
The space maintaining portion is a portion having low permeability and difficulty in passing
water. Therefore, since the space maintaining portion suppresses the adhesion of moisture to the
wiring, the wiring can be prevented from electric field corrosion.
[0016]
Application Example 5 In the ultrasonic device according to the application example described
above, the space between the two space maintaining parts is a flow path through which the
material of the acoustic matching part flows.
[0017]
According to this application example, the space maintaining portion extends like a wall.
And when forming an acoustic matching part, it is a flow path through which the material of an
acoustic matching part flows between two space | interval maintenance parts. Further, since the
material of the acoustic matching portion moves along the spacing maintaining portion, the
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material of the acoustic matching portion can be filled without gaps between the spacing
maintaining portions.
[0018]
Application Example 6 In the ultrasonic device according to the application example described
above, the shape of the space maintaining portion in the plan view is a circle or an ellipse.
[0019]
According to this application example, the shape of the space maintaining portion is a circle or an
ellipse.
A circle or ellipse has no corners and fluid can flow with small resistance along the
circumference. Therefore, when flowing the material of the acoustic matching portion to the
place where the distance maintaining portion is located, the material of the acoustic matching
portion moves along the distance maintaining portion. At this time, since the material of the
acoustic matching unit pushes out the air located in the space of the acoustic matching unit, the
material of the acoustic matching unit can be filled without a gap between the space maintaining
units.
[0020]
Application Example 7 An ultrasonic probe head according to this application example,
comprising: the ultrasonic device according to any one of the above and a case for supporting the
ultrasonic device. .
[0021]
According to this application example, the ultrasonic probe head includes the above-described
ultrasonic device and a housing for supporting the ultrasonic device.
The ultrasonic probe head of this application example is provided with an ultrasonic device that
appropriately maintains the thickness of the acoustic matching portion and efficiently transmits
and receives ultrasonic waves. Therefore, it is possible to provide an ultrasonic probe head that
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efficiently transmits and receives ultrasonic waves.
[0022]
Application Example 8 The ultrasonic probe according to this application example is
characterized by comprising the ultrasonic device according to any one of the above and a drive
circuit for driving the ultrasonic device.
[0023]
According to this application example, the ultrasound probe includes the above-described
ultrasound device and a drive circuit that drives the ultrasound device.
The ultrasonic probe of this application example includes an ultrasonic device that appropriately
maintains the thickness of the acoustic matching unit and efficiently transmits and receives
ultrasonic waves. Therefore, it is possible to provide an ultrasonic probe that efficiently transmits
and receives ultrasonic waves.
[0024]
Application Example 9 The electronic apparatus according to this application example, which is
connected to the ultrasonic device according to any one of the above and the ultrasonic device,
and generates an image using the output of the ultrasonic device And a processing unit.
[0025]
According to this application example, the electronic device includes the ultrasonic device and
the processing unit described above.
The processing unit generates image data using the output of the ultrasound device. The
electronic device of this application example includes an ultrasonic device that appropriately
maintains the thickness of the acoustic matching unit and efficiently transmits and receives
ultrasonic waves. Therefore, it is possible to provide an electronic device that efficiently transmits
and receives ultrasonic waves.
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[0026]
Application Example 10 An ultrasonic imaging apparatus according to this application example,
which is connected to the ultrasonic device according to any one of the above and the ultrasonic
device, and an image using the output of the ultrasonic device And a display unit that displays
the image.
[0027]
According to this application example, the ultrasound imaging apparatus includes the abovedescribed ultrasound device, a processing unit, and a display unit.
The processing unit generates image data using the output of the ultrasound device. The display
unit displays the image generated by the processing unit. The ultrasonic imaging apparatus of
this application example includes an ultrasonic device that appropriately maintains the thickness
of the acoustic matching unit and efficiently transmits and receives ultrasonic waves. Therefore,
it is possible to provide an ultrasonic imaging apparatus that efficiently transmits and receives
ultrasonic waves.
[0028]
FIG. 1 is a schematic perspective view showing the configuration of an ultrasound imaging
apparatus. The partial schematic cross section which shows the structure of an ultrasonic probe.
The principal part schematic cross section which shows the structure of an ultrasonic probe.
Control block diagram of an ultrasound imaging device. The schematic plan view which shows
the structure of a sound wave device. (A) And (c) is a schematic side cross-sectional view which
shows the structure of an ultrasonic device, (b) and (d) is a schematic side view which shows the
structure of an ultrasonic device. (A) is a schematic plan view which shows the structure of an
ultrasonic element, (b) is a schematic sectional side view which shows the structure of an
ultrasonic element. FIG. 2 is a schematic plan view showing the configuration of an ultrasonic
element array substrate. The flowchart of the manufacturing method of an ultrasonic device. The
schematic diagram for demonstrating the manufacturing method of an ultrasonic device. The
schematic diagram for demonstrating the manufacturing method of an ultrasonic device. (A) is a
principal part schematic plan view which shows the structure of an ultrasonic element, (b) is a
schematic plan view which shows the structure of an ultrasonic element array board | substrate.
(A) And (b) is a model side view which shows the structure of an ultrasonic probe. FIG. 1 is a
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schematic perspective view showing the configuration of an ultrasound imaging apparatus.
[0029]
In the present embodiment, a characteristic example of an ultrasonic device and an ultrasonic
probe and an ultrasonic imaging apparatus in which the ultrasonic device is installed will be
described according to the drawings. In addition, in order to make each member in each drawing
into a size that can be recognized in each drawing, each member is illustrated with different
scales.
[0030]
First Embodiment In this embodiment, as an example of an electronic device, an ultrasonic
imaging apparatus for inspecting the inside of a human body, for example, will be described
according to FIGS. FIG. 1 is a schematic perspective view showing the configuration of an
ultrasonic imaging apparatus. FIG. 2 is a partial schematic side sectional view showing the
structure of the ultrasonic probe, and FIG. 3 is a schematic sectional view showing the structure
of the ultrasonic probe.
[0031]
As shown in FIG. 1, an ultrasonic imaging apparatus 1 as an electronic apparatus includes an
apparatus main body 2 and an ultrasonic probe 3. The device body 2 and the ultrasonic probe 3
are connected by a cable 4, and the device body 2 and the ultrasonic probe 3 can exchange
electrical signals through the cable 4. A display unit 5 such as a display panel is incorporated in
the device body 2. The display unit 5 is a touch panel type display, and also serves as a user
interface unit through which an operator inputs information to the apparatus body 2.
Hereinafter, the user interface unit is referred to as a UI unit.
[0032]
In the apparatus main body 2, an image is generated based on the ultrasonic waves detected by
the ultrasonic probe 3, and the detection result in the form of an image is displayed on the
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screen of the display unit 5. The ultrasonic probe 3 includes a rectangular parallelepiped casing
6, and the cable 4 is connected to one end of the casing 6 in the longitudinal direction. And the
head part 7 which transmits / receives an ultrasonic wave to the opposite side is provided. The
ultrasonic imaging apparatus 1 is configured to connect the apparatus main body 2 and the
ultrasonic probe 3 with a cable 4. Alternatively, the signal may be exchanged between the
apparatus main body 2 and the ultrasonic probe 3 wirelessly without using the cable 4.
[0033]
As shown in FIG. 2, in the ultrasonic probe 3, the ultrasonic device 9 fixed to the support member
8 is accommodated in the housing 6. The ultrasonic device 9 is exposed from the head portion 7
of the housing 6, and the ultrasonic device 9 outputs an ultrasonic wave to an object.
Furthermore, the ultrasonic device 9 receives the reflected wave of the ultrasonic wave from the
object. The reflected wave is also called an echo wave. The housing 6 has a tubular shape and is
shaped so as to be easily grasped by the operator. The ultrasonic device 9 is installed at one end
of the housing 6 and the cable 4 is installed at the other end. The direction from the ultrasonic
device 9 toward the cable 4 is taken as the Z direction. Two directions orthogonal to the Z
direction are taken as an X direction and a Y direction. The ultrasonic device 9 has a substantially
plate-like shape and extends in the X direction and the Y direction. The ultrasonic device 9 has a
shape longer in the X direction than in the Y direction.
[0034]
As shown in FIG. 3, there is a gap between the ultrasonic device 9 and the head part 7 of the
housing 6, and the gap is provided with the seal part 10 filled with a silicone-based sealing
material. The seal portion 10 prevents moisture and the like from invading the ultrasonic device
9 of the housing 6 of the ultrasonic probe 3. The support member 8 is located on the Z direction
side of the ultrasonic device 9, and a seal structure is installed between the support member 8
and the head portion 7. The seal structure comprises an adhesive member 11 and an adhesive
member 12. The adhesive member 11 is attached to the outer peripheral portion of the support
member 8 and is a member such as an elastic double-sided tape. The adhesive member 12 is
attached to the housing 6 and is a member such as an elastic double-sided tape.
[0035]
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An FPC 13 (Flexible Printed Circuits), which connects the ultrasonic device 9 and the processing
circuit, is interposed between the adhesive member 11 and the adhesive member 12. The FPC 13
is sandwiched and fixed between the bonding member 11 and the bonding member 12. The FPC
13 is also referred to as a flexible printed wiring board. As the adhesive member 11 and the
adhesive member 12, for example, a double-sided tape in which an acrylic adhesive is applied to
a single foam such as polyethylene or urethane can be used. As described above, a double seal
structure is adopted for the ultrasonic probe 3, and the seal portion 10, the adhesive member 11
and the adhesive member 12 prevent moisture, dust and the like from entering the housing 6.
[0036]
The ultrasonic device 9 includes an ultrasonic element array substrate 14, an acoustic matching
unit 15, an acoustic lens 16, an FPC 13, and a frame 17 as a fixed frame. The ultrasonic element
array substrate 14 has an element substrate 18 and a back plate 21. The element substrate 18 is
a substrate in which a plurality of ultrasonic elements are arranged in an array on the surface on
the −Z direction side, and has a rectangular shape long in the X direction in plan view seen from
the Z direction. The element substrate 18 is formed using a silicon substrate and has a thickness
of approximately 150 μm to 200 μm. A flat plate-like back plate 21 identical to the element
substrate 18 is bonded to the surface of the element substrate 18 facing the −Z direction
opposite to the element formation surface. The back plate 21 suppresses extra vibration of the
element substrate 18 and serves to absorb ultrasonic waves. For the back plate 21, a silicon
substrate having a thickness of 500 μm to 600 μm is used. The back plate 21 may use a metal
plate in addition to the silicon substrate. When the influence of the ultrasonic wave traveling
from the element substrate 18 in the Z direction is small, the ultrasonic device 9 may be
configured without using the back plate 21.
[0037]
On the surface of the element substrate 18 on which the ultrasonic elements are formed, a
plurality of terminals connected to the plurality of ultrasonic elements are installed along the
long side extending in the X direction in plan view. The terminal and the terminal of the FPC 13
are connected and also electrically connected.
[0038]
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An acoustic lens 16 is disposed on the surface of the element substrate 18 on which the
ultrasonic elements are formed. The planar shape of the acoustic lens 16 viewed from the −Z
direction is the same as that of the ultrasonic element array substrate 14. The acoustic lens 16 is
provided with a lens portion 22 whose surface facing the −Z direction protrudes in the thickness
direction with a predetermined curvature. Further, on the surface facing in the Z direction, a wall
portion 23 formed in the outer edge portion of the acoustic lens 16 and protruding in the
thickness direction is provided. The acoustic lens 16 is formed of a resin such as silicone resin.
The acoustic impedance of the silicone resin can be adjusted by changing the specific gravity by
adding silica or the like to the silicone resin.
[0039]
An acoustic matching portion 15 is formed between the ultrasonic element array substrate 14
and the acoustic lens 16. The acoustic matching portion 15 uses a silicone-based adhesive, and
by curing the adhesive, the ultrasonic element array substrate 14 and the acoustic lens 16 are
adhered (bonded), and the cured adhesive (resin) becomes an acoustic matching portion. Act as
15. A plurality of cylindrical spacing maintaining portions 24 are installed in parallel with the
acoustic matching portion 15, and the spacing maintaining portion 24 maintains the thickness of
the acoustic matching portion 15 constant. Then, when the acoustic lens 16 is pressed by the
object, the space maintaining unit 24 transmits the force applied to the acoustic lens 16 to the
ultrasonic element array substrate 14. Then, deformation of the acoustic lens 16 due to the
reaction force received from the ultrasonic element array substrate 14 is suppressed.
[0040]
The acoustic lens 16 converges the ultrasonic waves emitted from the ultrasonic elements of the
element substrate 18 and efficiently guides them to the object. The acoustic lens 16 also plays a
role of efficiently guiding an echo wave reflected back from the object to the ultrasonic element.
The acoustic matching unit 15 serves to reduce the mismatch in acoustic impedance between the
ultrasonic element and the acoustic lens 16. The ultrasonic device 9 is fixed to the back plate 21
by the support member 8 and the adhesive 25.
[0041]
FIG. 4 is a control block diagram of the ultrasound imaging apparatus. As shown in FIG. 4, the
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ultrasonic imaging apparatus includes an apparatus main body 2 and an ultrasonic probe 3. The
ultrasonic probe 3 includes an ultrasonic device 9 and a processing circuit 26 as a drive circuit.
The processing circuit 26 includes a selection circuit 27, a transmission circuit 28, a reception
circuit 29, and a control unit 30. The processing circuit 26 performs transmission processing and
reception processing of the ultrasonic device 9.
[0042]
The transmission circuit 28 outputs a transmission signal VT to the ultrasound device 9 through
the selection circuit 27 in the transmission period. Specifically, the transmission circuit 28
generates a transmission signal VT based on the control of the control unit 30, and outputs the
transmission signal VT to the selection circuit 27. The selection circuit 27 outputs the
transmission signal VT from the transmission circuit 28 based on the control of the control unit
30. The frequency and amplitude voltage of the transmission signal VT are set by the control unit
30.
[0043]
The reception circuit 29 performs reception processing for receiving the reception signal VR
from the ultrasound device 9. Specifically, the reception circuit 29 receives the reception signal
VR from the ultrasound device 9 through the selection circuit 27 in the reception period. Then,
the reception circuit 29 performs reception processing such as amplification of the reception
signal, gain setting, frequency setting, A / D conversion (analog / digital conversion) and the like.
The reception circuit 29 outputs the result of the reception processing to the device body 2 as
detection data (detection information). The receiving circuit 29 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.
[0044]
The control unit 30 controls the transmission circuit 28 and the reception circuit 29. Specifically,
the control unit 30 controls the transmission circuit 28 to generate and output the transmission
signal VT, and controls the reception circuit 29 to set the frequency and gain of the reception
signal VR. The selection circuit 27 outputs the transmission signal VT selected based on the
control of the control unit 30 to the ultrasound device 9.
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[0045]
The apparatus body 2 includes a display unit 5, a main control unit 31, a processing unit 32, and
a UI unit 33 (user interface unit). The main control unit 31 controls the ultrasonic probe 3 to
transmit and receive ultrasonic waves, and controls the processing unit 32 to perform image
processing of detection data and the like. The processing unit 32 receives the detection data from
the receiving circuit 29, and performs image processing for removing noise, generation of
display image data, and the like. The UI unit 33 has a function of inputting an instruction by the
user, and the UI unit 33 outputs a necessary command (command) to the main control unit 31
based on an operation performed by the user (for example, a touch panel operation). The display
unit 5 is, for example, a liquid crystal display or the like, and receives and displays display image
data from the processing unit 32. The control unit 30 of the processing circuit 26 may perform
part of the control performed by the main control unit 31, or the main control unit 31 may
perform part of the control performed by the control unit 30.
[0046]
FIG. 5 is a schematic plan view showing the structure of the ultrasonic device, as viewed from the
direction of arrow H of the ultrasonic probe 3 in FIG. FIG. 6A is a schematic side cross-sectional
view showing the structure of the ultrasonic device, and is a cross-sectional view taken along the
line AA in FIG. FIG. 6B is a schematic side view showing the structure of the ultrasonic device, as
viewed from the Y direction. FIG. 6C is a schematic side cross-sectional view showing the
structure of the ultrasonic device, and is a cross-sectional view taken along the line B-B in FIG.
FIG. 6D is a schematic side view showing the structure of the ultrasonic device, as viewed from
the -X direction.
[0047]
As shown in FIGS. 5 and 6, the ultrasonic device 9 has a rectangular parallelepiped shape that is
long in the X direction. When the ultrasonic device 9 is viewed from the −Z direction, a
rectangular first hole 17 a is formed in the center of the frame 17, and the lens portion 22 is
exposed from the first hole 17 a. When the ultrasonic device 9 is viewed from the Z direction, a
rectangular second hole 17b is formed at the center of the frame 17, and the back plate 21 is
exposed from the second hole 17b.
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[0048]
The frame 17 is composed of an inner frame 34 located inside and an outer frame 35 located
outside. The inner frame 34 presses the acoustic lens 16 in the -Z direction. The outer frame 35
presses the ultrasonic element array substrate 14 from the Z direction side. The inner frame 34
and the outer frame 35 are bonded and fixed. Therefore, the frame 17 fixes the ultrasonic
element array substrate 14, the acoustic matching unit 15, and the acoustic lens 16 in the Z
direction.
[0049]
A space maintaining unit 24 is installed in parallel with the acoustic matching unit 15. A space
maintaining portion 24 is disposed between the ultrasonic element array substrate 14 and the
acoustic lens 16 sandwiched by the frame body 17. The frame body 17 securely fixes the
ultrasonic element array substrate 14 and the acoustic lens 16 with the space maintaining
portion 24 interposed therebetween. Therefore, the space | interval maintenance part 24 can
maintain the thickness of the acoustic matching part 15 uniformly.
[0050]
A first recess 23c is formed in the X direction of the wall portion 23, and a third recess 23e is
formed in the -X direction. The first recess 23 c and the third recess 23 e are connected to the
acoustic matching unit 15 at a location facing the lens unit 22. The acoustic matching portion 15
is also located in the first recess 23 c and the third recess 23 e.
[0051]
A second recess 23d is formed in the Y direction of the wall portion 23, and a fourth recess 23f
is formed in the -Y direction. The second recess 23 d and the fourth recess 23 f are connected to
the acoustic matching unit 15 at a location facing the lens unit 22. The acoustic matching portion
15 is also located in the second recess 23 d and the fourth recess 23 f.
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[0052]
The space maintaining portion 24 is located in the first recess 23 c and the third recess 23 e. The
space | interval maintenance part 24 is arrange | positioned between the ultrasonic element
array board | substrate 14 and the acoustic lens 16 of the place pinched | interposed into the
frame 17 by planar view seen from-Z direction. Since the frame 17 sandwiches the space
maintaining portion 24 between the ultrasonic element array substrate 14 and the acoustic lens
16, the space maintaining portion 24 can reliably maintain the thickness of the acoustic
matching portion 15 constant.
[0053]
The FPC 13 is sandwiched between the ultrasonic element array substrate 14 and the wall
portion 23 on the Y direction and the −Y direction side of the acoustic lens 16. Then, by holding
down the frame 17 sandwiching the ultrasonic element array substrate 14 and the wall portion
23, it is possible to prevent the FPC 13 from being lifted at the place where the ultrasonic
element array substrate 14 and the FPC 13 are connected. . Then, the FPC 13 is securely fixed.
[0054]
The thickness of the acoustic matching portion 15 is set to an odd multiple of 1⁄4 λ when the
wavelength λ of the ultrasonic wave to be used is used. The thickness of the space maintaining
portion 24 in the Z direction is equal to the thickness of the acoustic matching portion 15.
[0055]
FIG. 7A is a schematic plan view showing the configuration of the ultrasonic element, in which
the acoustic lens 16 and the acoustic matching portion 15 are removed and the space
maintaining portion 24 is installed. FIG. 7B is a schematic side sectional view showing the
configuration of the ultrasonic element, in which the acoustic lens 16 and the acoustic matching
unit 15 are provided. As shown in FIG. 7, a plurality of ultrasonic elements 36 are provided on
the element substrate 18. The ultrasonic element 36 has a base substrate 37 as a substrate, a
vibrating membrane 38 (membrane) formed on the base substrate 37, and a piezoelectric body
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portion 41 provided on the vibrating membrane 38. The piezoelectric portion 41 has a first
electrode 42 as a lower electrode, a piezoelectric layer 43, and a second electrode 44 as an upper
electrode.
[0056]
An opening 37a is formed in a base substrate 37 made of a silicon substrate or the like, and the
ultrasonic element 36 includes a vibrating film 38 which covers and closes the opening 37a. The
vibrating film 38 is formed of, for example, a two-layer structure of an SiO 2 layer and a ZrO 2
layer. When the base substrate 37 is a silicon substrate, the SiO 2 layer can be formed by
subjecting the substrate surface to thermal oxidation treatment. In addition, a ZrO 2 layer is
formed on the SiO 2 layer by a method such as sputtering. Here, when using, for example, PZT
(lead zirconate titanate) as the piezoelectric layer 43, the ZrO 2 layer is a layer for preventing the
diffusion of Pb constituting the PZT into the SiO 2 layer. Further, the ZrO 2 layer also has an
effect of improving the deflection efficiency with respect to the strain of the piezoelectric layer.
[0057]
The first electrode 42 is formed on the vibrating film 38, and the piezoelectric layer 43 is formed
on the first electrode 42. Furthermore, a second electrode 44 is formed on the piezoelectric layer
43. That is, the piezoelectric body portion 41 has a structure in which the piezoelectric body
layer 43 is sandwiched between the first electrode 42 and the second electrode 44.
[0058]
The first electrode 42 is formed of a metal thin film and extends in the Y direction, and a portion
thereof protrudes in the X direction at the ultrasonic element 36. The first electrode 42 is
disposed across the plurality of piezoelectric portions 41 and also functions as a wiring. A
portion of the first electrode 42 that functions as a wire is referred to as a first wire 42 a. The
piezoelectric layer 43 is formed of, for example, a PZT (lead zirconate titanate) thin film, and is
provided so as to cover a part of the first electrode 42. The material of the piezoelectric layer 43
is not limited to PZT. For example, lead titanate (PbTiO 3), lead zirconate (PbZrO 3), lead
lanthanum titanate ((Pb, La) TiO 3), etc. May be used. The second electrode 44 is formed of a
metal thin film, and is provided to cover the piezoelectric layer 43. The second electrode 44
extends in the Y direction, and a portion of the second electrode 44 protrudes in the −X
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direction at the ultrasonic element 36. The second electrode 44 is disposed across the plurality of
piezoelectric members 41 and also functions as a wire. A portion of the second electrode 44 that
functions as a wire is referred to as a second wire 44 a.
[0059]
When the element substrate 18 is viewed from the −Z direction, in the ultrasonic element 36,
the first electrode 42 and the second electrode 44 overlap. The first electrode 42 does not
overlap the second electrode 44 in the first wiring 42 a and the second wiring 44 a. The space |
interval maintenance part 24 is arrange | positioned in the place where the 1st wiring 42a and
the 2nd wiring 44a were installed. And the space | interval maintenance part 24 is installed in
the place which does not overlap with the ultrasonic element 36. As shown in FIG. An acoustic
matching unit 15 is overlapped on the ultrasonic element 36 and installed. The space
maintaining portion 24 does not have to be arranged at all places not overlapping the ultrasonic
element 36, and the space maintaining portion 24 may be arranged at some places. The space |
interval maintenance part 24 should just be arrange | positioned to such an extent that the
thickness of the acoustic matching part 15 can be maintained uniformly.
[0060]
An insulating film 45 is provided to cover the ultrasonic element 36 to prevent moisture
permeation from the outside and insulate between the acoustic matching unit 15 and the first
electrode 42 and the second electrode 44. The insulating film 45 is formed of a material such as
alumina and is provided on the entire surface or a part of the ultrasonic element 36.
Furthermore, the insulating film 45 is disposed to cover the first electrode 42 and the second
electrode 44.
[0061]
The piezoelectric layer 43 expands and contracts in the in-plane direction by applying a voltage
between the first electrode 42 and the second electrode 44, that is, between the first electrode
42 and the second electrode 44. Therefore, when a voltage is applied to the piezoelectric layer
43, a bending that is convex toward the opening 37a occurs, and the vibrating film 38 is bent. By
applying an alternating voltage to the piezoelectric layer 43, the vibrating film 38 vibrates in the
film thickness direction, and ultrasonic waves are radiated from the opening 37a by the vibration
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of the vibrating film 38. The voltage (drive voltage) applied to the piezoelectric layer 43 is, for
example, 10 to 30 V from peak to peak, and the frequency is, for example, 1 to 10 MHz.
[0062]
The ultrasonic element 36 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 38 is vibrated
by the ultrasonic echo, and stress is applied to the piezoelectric layer 43 by the vibration to
generate a voltage between the first electrode 42 and the second electrode 44. This voltage can
be taken out as a received signal.
[0063]
FIG. 8 is a schematic plan view showing the configuration of the ultrasonic element array
substrate. As shown in FIG. 8, on the ultrasonic element array substrate 14, a plurality of
ultrasonic elements 36, a first electrode 42 and a second electrode 44 arranged in a matrix are
provided. The ultrasonic elements 36 are arranged in 17 rows and 8 columns in order to make
the drawing easy to see, but the number of rows and the number of columns are not particularly
limited.
[0064]
The transmission signal VT output from the processing circuit 26 is supplied to each ultrasonic
element 36 through the second electrode 44 in the transmission period in which the ultrasonic
waves are emitted. Further, during the reception period in which the ultrasonic echo signal is
received, the reception signal VR from the ultrasonic element 36 is output to the processing
circuit 26 via the second electrode 44. The common voltage VCOM is supplied to the first
electrode 42. The common voltage may be a constant voltage and may not be 0 V, that is, not the
ground potential (ground potential). In the transmission period, a voltage of the difference
between the transmission signal voltage and the common voltage is applied to each of the
ultrasonic elements 36, and ultrasonic waves of a predetermined frequency are emitted.
[0065]
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The space | interval maintenance part 24 is installed in the place where the 1st recessed part 23c
of the acoustic lens 16 is located along the side in the X direction side of the element substrate
18. As shown in FIG. Similarly, the space maintaining portion 24 is installed at a position where
the third recess 23 e of the acoustic lens 16 is located along the side on the −X direction side of
the element substrate 18. When the frame body 17 sandwiches the acoustic lens 16 and the
ultrasonic element array substrate 14, the space maintaining portion 24 receives a load at a
position close to the frame body 17, so the thickness of the acoustic matching portion 15 can be
maintained constant. It has become.
[0066]
Next, a method of manufacturing the above-described ultrasonic device 9 will be described with
reference to FIGS. FIG. 9 is a flow chart of a method of manufacturing an ultrasonic device, and
FIGS. 10 and 11 are schematic views for explaining the method of manufacturing an ultrasonic
device. In the flowchart of FIG. 9, step S1 corresponds to a substrate bonding step. This step is a
step of bonding the element substrate 18 and the back plate 21 to form the ultrasonic element
array substrate 14. Next, the process proceeds to step S2. Step S2 corresponds to an interval
maintaining portion forming step. This step is a step of installing the space maintaining portion
24 on the ultrasonic element array substrate 14. Next, the process proceeds to step S3. Step S3
corresponds to a wiring setting process. This step is a step of bonding the FPC 13 to the
ultrasonic element array substrate 14. Next, the process proceeds to step S4. Step S4
corresponds to an acoustic matching member application process. This process is a process of
coating and installing the material of the acoustic matching portion on the ultrasonic element
array substrate 14. Next, the process proceeds to step S5.
[0067]
Step S5 corresponds to a lens installation process. This step is a step of placing the acoustic lens
16 over the ultrasonic element array substrate 14. Next, the process proceeds to step S6. Step S6
corresponds to the acoustic matching member solidification step. This step is a step of solidifying
the acoustic matching member. Next, the process proceeds to step S7. Step S7 corresponds to a
frame installation step. This process is a process of installing the frame 17 with the ultrasonic
element array substrate 14 and the acoustic lens 16 interposed therebetween. The ultrasonic
device 9 is completed by the above steps.
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[0068]
Next, the manufacturing method will be described in detail in correspondence with the steps
shown in FIG. 9 using FIGS. FIG. 10A is a diagram corresponding to the substrate bonding
process of step S1. As shown in FIG. 10A, in step S1, the element substrate 18 and the back plate
21 are prepared. The piezoelectric substrate 41 is formed on the element substrate 18. The
manufacturing method of the piezoelectric body portion 41 is known, and the description thereof
is omitted. An adhesive is applied to the element substrate 18 or the back plate 21 to overlap the
element substrate 18 and the back plate 21. Next, the adhesive is solidified by heating and drying
to complete the ultrasonic element array substrate 14.
[0069]
FIG.10 (b) and FIG.10 (c) are figures corresponding to the space | interval maintenance part
formation process of step S2. As shown in FIG. 10B, in step S2, the spacing maintenance film 24a
is placed on the element substrate. A photosensitive resin film can be used for the space
maintenance film 24a. Then, an adhesive is applied to the ultrasonic element array substrate 14,
and the distance maintenance film 24 a is adhered to the ultrasonic element array substrate 14.
Next, the space maintenance film 24a is masked with a predetermined pattern and exposed.
Subsequently, the space maintaining film 24a is etched. As a result, as shown in FIG. 10C, the
space maintaining portion 24 is installed on the ultrasonic element array substrate 14. A method
different from the method of bonding the spacing maintaining film 24a on the ultrasonic element
array substrate 14 may be used. For example, the material of the space maintenance film 24a
may be applied and dried using a method such as spin coating or dipping. An epoxy resin can be
used as the material of the space maintenance film 24a.
[0070]
FIG. 10D is a diagram corresponding to the wiring installation step of step S3. As shown in FIG.
10D, the FPC 13 is prepared in step S3. The FPC 13 is plated with solder at the end of the wiring.
The first electrode 42 and the second electrode 44 extend from the element substrate 18 to the
ends in the Y direction and the -Y direction. The ends of the first electrode 42 and the second
electrode 44 are terminals to be joined to the FPC 13. The FPC 13 is mounted on the ultrasonic
element array substrate 14 by heating the wiring of the FPC 13 and the terminals of the element
substrate 18 together. Alternatively, the FPC 13 may be mounted on the ultrasonic element array
substrate 14 with an anisotropic conductive film interposed, or may be mounted via resin core
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bumps.
[0071]
FIGS. 10 (e) and 11 (a) are diagrams corresponding to the acoustic matching member application
step of step S4. As shown in FIG. 10E, the acoustic matching member 46 is applied to the surface
on the -Z direction side of the element substrate 18. As shown in FIG. 11A, the acoustic matching
member 46 is applied to the center of the ultrasonic element array substrate 14 in plan view. The
shape to be applied is a shape elongated in the X direction.
[0072]
11 (b) and 11 (c) are diagrams corresponding to the lens installation step of step S5. As shown in
FIG. 11B, in step S5, the acoustic lens 16 is placed on the ultrasonic element array substrate 14
in an overlapping manner. Thereby, the lower part of the space maintaining part 24 is adhered to
the ultrasonic element array substrate 14, and the upper part is in contact with the acoustic lens
16. In other words, the space maintaining portion 24 is disposed in contact with the ultrasonic
element array substrate 14 and the acoustic lens 16. The ultrasonic element array substrate 14
and the acoustic lens 16 have the same outer shape when viewed in the Z direction. Therefore,
alignment of the ultrasonic element array substrate 14 and the acoustic lens 16 can be
performed by matching the outer shape.
[0073]
FIG. 11C shows the acoustic lens 16 removed. As shown in FIG. 11C, when the acoustic matching
member 46 is sandwiched between the ultrasonic element array substrate 14 and the acoustic
lens 16, the acoustic matching member 46 flows toward the outer periphery. The place
surrounded by the broken line in the figure is the place where the acoustic matching member 46
is applied. The arrows indicate the direction in which the acoustic matching member 46 flows.
The space maintaining unit 24 is installed at an interval. And the space | interval maintenance
part 24 comprises the flow path through which the acoustic matching member 46 flows.
Accordingly, the acoustic matching member 46 can flow from the center to the outer periphery
of the ultrasonic element array substrate 14.
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[0074]
The shape of the space | interval maintenance part 24 is circular or an ellipse in planar view seen
from-Z direction. A circle or ellipse has no corners and fluid can flow with small resistance along
the circumference. Therefore, when the acoustic matching member 46 is caused to flow to a
place where the distance maintaining part 24 is located, the acoustic matching member 46
moves along the distance maintaining part 24. At this time, since the acoustic matching member
46 pushes out the air located in the space between the ultrasonic element array substrate 14 and
the acoustic lens 16, the acoustic matching member 46 can be filled without gaps between the
space maintaining parts 24.
[0075]
The acoustic matching member 46 protruding from between the ultrasonic element array
substrate 14 and the acoustic lens 16 may be removed using a spatula or the like. The coating
amount of the acoustic matching member 46 may be adjusted so that the acoustic matching
member 46 does not protrude from between the ultrasonic element array substrate 14 and the
acoustic lens 16.
[0076]
FIG. 11D is a diagram corresponding to the acoustic matching member solidification step of step
S6 and the frame installation step of step S7. As shown in FIG. 11D, in step S6, the acoustic
matching member 46 is dried by heating to form the acoustic matching portion 15. The acoustic
matching member 46 may be a material that solidifies in response to light, or may be a material
that solidifies in response to moisture.
[0077]
In step S7, an adhesive is applied to the outer side surface of the inner frame 34. Next, the inner
frame 34 is inserted into the ultrasonic element array substrate 14 and the acoustic lens 16 from
the −Z direction side. Next, the outer frame 35 is inserted into the inner frame 34 from the Z
direction side. Next, the adhesive between the inner frame 34 and the outer frame 35 is solidified
to bond the inner frame 34 and the outer frame 35. At this time, it is preferable to apply a load
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so as to sandwich the ultrasonic element array substrate 14 and the acoustic lens 16 between the
inner frame 34 and the outer frame 35. Thus, the distance between the ultrasonic element array
substrate 14 and the acoustic lens 16 can be fixed with high accuracy. The ultrasonic device 9 is
completed by the above steps.
[0078]
As described above, according to the present embodiment, the following effects are obtained. (1)
According to the present embodiment, the acoustic lens 16 is used in contact with the subject. At
this time, the acoustic lens 16 is pressed from the subject. Stress is generated inside the acoustic
lens 16. The acoustic matching portion 15 is made of resin and is easily deformed. On the other
hand, the columnar spacing maintaining portion 24 contacts the acoustic lens 16 and the
ultrasonic element array substrate 14, and transmits the stress of the acoustic lens 16 to the
ultrasonic element array substrate 14. And since the thickness of the acoustic matching part 15
is maintained constant, a deformation | transformation of the acoustic lens 16 can be suppressed
and an ultrasonic wave can be converged precisely. Furthermore, since the deformation of the
acoustic lens 16 is suppressed, the ultrasonic wave reflected by the subject can be converged on
the ultrasonic element 36 with high accuracy. As a result, the ultrasonic device 9 can efficiently
receive and transmit ultrasonic waves.
[0079]
(2) According to the present embodiment, the space maintaining unit 24 is installed at a position
not overlapping the ultrasonic element 36. Therefore, the acoustic matching portion 15 formed
of resin is superimposed on the ultrasonic element 36. Therefore, the ultrasonic device 9 can
emit an ultrasonic wave whose acoustic impedance has been adjusted by the acoustic matching
unit 15. Furthermore, in the ultrasonic device 9, the acoustic matching unit 15 can adjust the
acoustic impedance of the incident ultrasonic wave and emit it to the ultrasonic element 36.
[0080]
(3) According to the present embodiment, the shape of the space maintaining portion 24 is a
circle or an ellipse. A circle or ellipse has no corners and fluid can flow with small resistance
along the circumference. Accordingly, when the acoustic matching member 46 is caused to flow
to a place where the spacing maintaining portion 24 is located, the acoustic matching member
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46 moves along the arrangement of the spacing maintaining portion 24. At this time, since the
acoustic matching member 46 pushes out the air located in the space between the ultrasonic
element array substrate 14 and the acoustic lens 16, the acoustic matching member 46 can be
filled without gaps between the space maintaining parts 24.
[0081]
Second Embodiment Next, an embodiment of an ultrasonic device will be described with
reference to FIG. FIG. 12A is a main part schematic plan view showing the configuration of the
ultrasonic element, and is a view in which the acoustic lens 16 is removed and the space
maintaining portion is installed. FIG. 12 (b) is a schematic plan view showing the configuration of
the ultrasonic element array substrate 14, in which a space maintaining portion and an acoustic
matching member are provided. The FPC 13 is omitted in the drawing. The present embodiment
is different from the first embodiment in that the shape of the space maintaining portion 24
shown in FIG. 7 is different. Description of the same points as the first embodiment will be
omitted.
[0082]
That is, in the present embodiment, as shown in FIG. 12, the ultrasonic device 49 includes the
element substrate 50. The element substrate 50 includes a base substrate 37 on which the
vibrating film 38 is provided. The first electrode 42 and the second electrode 44 are disposed on
the vibrating membrane 38. A space maintaining portion 51 is provided on the upper side of the
first wiring 42a and the second wiring 44a so as to cover the first wiring 42a and the second
wiring 44a. The space | interval maintenance part 51 is provided with the function similar to 1st
Embodiment, and the space | interval maintenance part 51 maintains the thickness of the
acoustic matching part 15 uniformly.
[0083]
The space | interval maintenance part 51 is extended and arranged in wall shape between the
ultrasonic elements which adjoin an X direction which can not easily pass an ultrasonic wave.
The ultrasonic waves do not easily pass through the space maintaining portion 51, and the space
maintaining portion 51 regulates the propagation direction of the ultrasonic waves. Therefore, it
is possible to suppress that the ultrasonic elements 36 located in the X direction sandwiching the
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space maintaining portion 51 mutually affect each other through the ultrasonic waves.
[0084]
The space maintaining portion 51 is formed of a material having low water permeability and
difficulty in passing moisture. For example, an epoxy resin can be used as the material of the
space maintaining portion 51. And it arrange | positions so that the 1st wiring 42a and the 2nd
wiring 44a may be covered. Accordingly, since the space maintaining portion 51 suppresses the
adhesion of moisture to the first wiring 42a and the second wiring 44a, the first wiring 42a and
the second wiring 44a can be prevented from being subjected to electric field corrosion.
[0085]
As shown in FIG. 12B, on the element substrate 50, the spacing maintaining portion 51 is
installed in the spacing maintaining portion forming step of step S2. Then, in the acoustic
matching member application step of step S4, the acoustic matching member 46 is applied. The
acoustic matching member 46 is sandwiched between the element substrate 50 and the acoustic
lens 16 in the lens installation step of step S5. At this time, the acoustic matching member 46 is
pushed by the element substrate 50 and the acoustic lens 16 and flows to the outer peripheral
side.
[0086]
The space maintaining unit 51 constitutes a flow path through which the acoustic matching
member 46 flows. Then, since the acoustic matching member 46 moves along the spacing
maintaining portion 51, the air bubbles can be pushed out and the space between the spacing
maintaining portions 51 can be filled with the acoustic matching member 46 without a gap.
[0087]
As described above, according to the present embodiment, the following effects are obtained. (1)
According to the present embodiment, the space maintaining portion 51 extends in a wall shape
between the ultrasonic elements 36. The ultrasonic waves do not easily pass through the space
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26
maintaining portion 51, and the space maintaining portion 51 regulates the propagation
direction of the ultrasonic waves. Therefore, it is possible to suppress the mutual influence of the
ultrasonic elements 36 located on both sides of the space maintaining portion 51 via the
ultrasonic waves.
[0088]
(2) According to the present embodiment, the space maintaining unit 51 is disposed so as to
cover the first wiring 42 a and the second wiring 44 a. The space | interval maintenance part 51
is a structure which can not pass moisture easily. Accordingly, since the space maintaining
portion 51 suppresses the adhesion of moisture to the first wiring 42a and the second wiring
44a, the first wiring 42a and the second wiring 44a can be prevented from being subjected to
electric field corrosion.
[0089]
(3) According to the present embodiment, the space maintaining portion 51 is a flow path
through which the acoustic matching member 46 flows. Then, since the acoustic matching
member 46 moves along the spacing maintaining portion 51, the air between the spacing
maintaining portions 51 is pushed out by the acoustic matching member 46. As a result, the
space between the space maintaining portions 51 can be filled with the acoustic matching
member 46 without any space.
[0090]
Third Embodiment Next, an ultrasonic probe according to an embodiment of the present
invention will be described with reference to a schematic side view showing the structure of the
ultrasonic probe shown in FIGS. 13 (a) and 13 (b). The difference between the present
embodiment and the first embodiment is that the ultrasonic probe can be separated into the main
body and the ultrasonic probe head. Description of the same points as the first embodiment will
be omitted.
[0091]
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As shown in FIG. 13A, the ultrasonic probe 54 includes a probe body 55 and a probe head 56.
The probe main body 55 includes a main body casing 57, and the processing circuit 26 is
installed inside the main body casing 57. The processing circuit 26 is connected to the apparatus
body 2 via the cable 4. A first connector 58 is installed in the main body casing 57, and the first
connector 58 is connected to the processing circuit 26.
[0092]
The probe head 56 includes a head case 59 as a case, and the head case 59 incorporates the
ultrasonic device 9 therein. The acoustic lens 16 of the ultrasonic device 9 is exposed from the
head casing 59. A second connector 60 connected to the first connector 58 is installed in the
head housing 59, and the processing circuit 26 and the ultrasonic device 9 are electrically
connected via the first connector 58 and the second connector 60. There is.
[0093]
As shown in FIG. 13B, the probe main body 55 and the probe head 56 are separable. The first
connector 58 and the second connector 60 can be separated and connected. A plurality of probe
heads 56 having different frequencies of ultrasonic waves transmitted and received by the
ultrasonic device 9 are prepared. Then, it is possible to connect an appropriate probe head 56 to
the probe main body 55 in accordance with the characteristics of the subject and the depth of
the place to be examined of the subject.
[0094]
As described above, according to the present embodiment, the following effects are obtained. (1)
According to the present embodiment, the probe head 56 includes the ultrasonic device 9 and a
head case 59 for supporting the ultrasonic device 9. The ultrasonic probe 54 is provided with an
ultrasonic device 9 that appropriately maintains the thickness of the acoustic matching unit 15
and efficiently transmits and receives ultrasonic waves. Therefore, it is possible to provide an
ultrasonic probe 54 that efficiently transmits and receives ultrasonic waves.
[0095]
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(2) According to the present embodiment, the ultrasonic probe 54 can replace the probe head
56. Therefore, the ultrasonic device 9 can be replaced with an appropriate ultrasonic device 9 in
accordance with the acoustic impedance of the subject and the place to be inspected.
[0096]
Fourth Embodiment Next, an embodiment of an ultrasonic imaging apparatus will be described
using a schematic perspective view showing a configuration of the ultrasonic imaging apparatus
of FIG. The ultrasonic probe of the first embodiment is installed in the ultrasonic imaging
apparatus of the present embodiment. Description of the same points as the first embodiment
will be omitted.
[0097]
As shown in FIG. 14, the ultrasound imaging device 63 is a mobile ultrasound imaging device.
The ultrasonic imaging apparatus 63 has an apparatus main body 64 (electronic apparatus main
body), a display unit 65 for displaying display image data, a UI unit 66 (user interface unit), an
ultrasonic probe 67, and a cable 68. The ultrasonic imaging device 63 can be used to measure fat
thickness, muscle thickness, blood flow, bone density and the like of a living body. The ultrasonic
device 9 included in the ultrasonic imaging device 63 properly maintains the thickness of the
acoustic matching unit 15 and efficiently transmits and receives ultrasonic waves. Therefore, it
can be said that the ultrasonic imaging apparatus 63 is an apparatus provided with the ultrasonic
device 9 for receiving and transmitting ultrasonic waves efficiently.
[0098]
The present invention is not limited to the embodiment 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. A modification is described below. (Modification 1) In the first
embodiment, the space maintaining portion 24 has a circular or elliptical columnar shape, but
the shape of the space maintaining portion 24 is not limited to this. It can have various shapes
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such as a cone, an elliptical weight, a cube, a rectangular solid, a triangular prism, and a
polygonal prism. The shape of the space | interval maintenance part 24 can be made into the
shape which is easy to manufacture.
[0099]
(Modification 2) In the first embodiment, the ultrasonic element 36 performs both transmission
and reception of ultrasonic waves. The element that transmits ultrasonic waves and the element
that receives ultrasonic waves may be different elements. Furthermore, an element that transmits
ultrasonic waves, an element that receives ultrasonic waves, and an element that transmits and
receives ultrasonic waves may be disposed. It may be combined according to the request for
accuracy of transmitting and receiving ultrasonic waves.
[0100]
In the first embodiment, the piezoelectric layer 43 is a thin film formed by photolithography. The
piezoelectric layer 43 may be a thick bulk type. Also at this time, since the space maintaining unit
24 maintains the thickness of the acoustic matching unit 15 constant, the acoustic lens 16 can be
made difficult to deform even if the acoustic lens 16 is pressed.
[0101]
(Modification 3) In the second embodiment, the space maintaining portion 51 has a continuous
rectangular shape extending in the Y direction so as to cover the first wiring 42a and the second
wiring 44a. The space | interval maintenance part 51 may be isolate | separated into plurality in
the Y direction. The acoustic matching member 46 may also be capable of flowing in the X
direction. The acoustic matching member 46 can be made to flow so that the acoustic matching
member 46 fills the space between the space maintaining portions 51.
[0102]
DESCRIPTION OF SYMBOLS 1 ... Ultrasonic imaging device as an electronic device, 5 ... Display
part, 9 ... Ultrasonic device, 14 ... Ultrasonic element array substrate, 15 ... Acoustic matching
part, 16 ... Acoustic lens, 24, 51 ... Space | interval maintenance part, 26 ... Processing circuit as
drive circuit, 32 ... Processing unit, 36 ... Ultrasonic element.
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