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DESCRIPTION JP2017080131

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DESCRIPTION JP2017080131
To provide an ultrasonic device provided with a backing portion capable of suppressing
unnecessary ultrasonic waves and achieving thinning, an ultrasonic probe provided with an
ultrasonic device, an electronic apparatus provided with an ultrasonic probe, and an ultrasonic
wave. Provided is an imaging device. An ultrasonic device is an ultrasonic device that transmits
and receives ultrasonic waves, and includes an ultrasonic element including a first surface and a
second surface for emitting an ultrasonic wave, and a second element of the ultrasonic element.
And a backing portion 20 capable of supporting the surface and attenuating the ultrasonic wave
emitted to the second surface side, and the backing portion 20 has a slit hole 202 inclined with
respect to the thickness direction. Further, the ultrasonic elements 10 are arranged in an array,
and the slit holes 202 are arranged to be equal to the arrangement interval of the ultrasonic
elements 10 arranged in an array. [Selected figure] Figure 7
Ultrasonic device, ultrasonic probe, electronic device, and ultrasonic imaging apparatus
[0001]
The present invention relates to an ultrasound device, an ultrasound probe equipped with an
ultrasound device, an electronic device equipped with an ultrasound probe, and an ultrasound
imaging apparatus.
[0002]
Conventionally, an ultrasonic device is composed of a piezoelectric member, a backing portion,
an acoustic matching layer, an acoustic lens, and the like.
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Then, the ultrasonic device causes the ultrasonic wave generated by the piezoelectric member to
be incident on the subject via the acoustic matching layer and the acoustic lens. Then, the
ultrasonic device receives the reflected wave (ultrasound) reflected inside the subject, and
generates a voltage corresponding to the strength of the reflected wave. Further, the backing
portion supports the piezoelectric member and attenuates unnecessary ultrasonic waves, thereby
suppressing noise from being applied to the ultrasonic waves to be incident on the subject.
[0003]
When the piezoelectric member (ultrasonic element) is formed in a thin film configuration in
which the piezoelectric layers are arranged in an array on the vibrating film on a silicon
substrate, the rigidity etc. In order to ensure the structural strength included, a metal plate is
used as a backing member which constitutes a backing part. Moreover, since the backing
member utilizes the characteristic that an ultrasonic wave attenuates, so that a traveling distance
is long (thick), the metal plate which has thickness more than rigid force is used.
[0004]
In Patent Document 1, in the ultrasonic probe consisting of a piezoelectric vibrator disposed on a
backing material, the backing material is made of a composite material including a fiber material
and a resin, and the longitudinal direction of the fiber material is the piezoelectric transducer An
ultrasound probe is disclosed in which the direction of vibration matches the direction of
vibration. In Patent Document 1, by using this ultrasonic probe, it is possible to realize light and
wide-band frequency characteristics and obtain high-quality images. Further, in Patent Document
1, the piezoelectric vibrator is configured as a so-called bulk type, and weight reduction is
achieved by, for example, slightly dispersing tungsten powder in a composite material composed
of an epoxy resin and a carbon fiber as a backing material. Is realized.
[0005]
JP 2007-134767 A
[0006]
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2
At present, in order to improve the convenience of an ultrasound probe and an ultrasound
imaging apparatus, it is desired to reduce the thickness of an ultrasound device using an
ultrasound element (ultrasound element array) having a thin film configuration.
Specifically, it is desired to reduce the thickness of the backing portion. In the conventional case
where the thickness of the backing member is simply reduced, unnecessary ultrasonic waves that
are not attenuated by the backing member are emitted to the ultrasonic element side, resulting in
a large noise component. Become. Then, this noise component is displayed as an artifact in the Yaxis direction (depth direction) at the time of B-mode imaging, which causes a false finding in an
inspection or the like. Therefore, an ultrasonic device provided with a backing portion capable of
suppressing unnecessary ultrasonic waves and achieving thinning, an ultrasonic probe provided
with an ultrasonic device, an electronic apparatus provided with an ultrasonic probe, and an
ultrasonic imaging apparatus Is required.
[0007]
The present invention has been made to solve at least a part of the above-described problems,
and can be realized as the following modes or application examples.
[0008]
Application Example 1 An ultrasonic device according to this application example is an ultrasonic
device that transmits and receives ultrasonic waves, and includes an ultrasonic element including
a first surface and a second surface for emitting ultrasonic waves, and an ultrasonic element And
a backing portion capable of damping the ultrasonic wave emitted to the second surface side, the
backing portion having a slit hole inclined with respect to the thickness direction. .
[0009]
According to such an ultrasonic device, the backing portion supporting the second surface of the
ultrasonic element has a slit hole which is inclined with respect to the thickness direction.
Thereby, when the ultrasonic wave emitted from the 2nd surface side of an ultrasonic element
enters into the inside of the slit hole which inclines, reflection is repeatedly advanced and
advances by the inner wall (boundary surface) of a slit hole.
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Thus, ultrasonic waves can be attenuated by using reflection to lengthen the traveling path
(traveling distance). Then, when the ultrasonic wave that has traveled through the backing
portion is, for example, totally reflected and returned to the ultrasonic element, it travels back
while traveling along the reverse path of the slit hole of the backing portion. Therefore,
unnecessary ultrasonic waves returning from the backing portion to the ultrasonic element can
be suppressed. Accordingly, it is possible to suppress that the ultrasonic waves emitted from the
second surface side get into the ultrasonic waves emitted from the first surface side as noise. The
backing portion is thinned to the minimum thickness that can ensure the structural strength of
the ultrasonic element and the slit holes capable of suppressing unnecessary ultrasonic waves, as
compared to the thickness of the conventional backing portion. Can be Therefore, it is possible to
realize an ultrasonic device capable of suppressing unnecessary ultrasonic waves and achieving
thinning.
[0010]
Application Example 2 In the ultrasonic device according to the application example, the
ultrasonic elements are preferably arranged in an array.
[0011]
According to such an ultrasonic device, even when the ultrasonic elements are arranged in an
array, the traveling distance can be increased by causing the ultrasonic waves to repeatedly
advance and reflect on the inner walls of the respective slit holes. , Ultrasonic waves can be
attenuated.
Thereby, unnecessary ultrasonic waves returning from the backing portion to the respective
ultrasonic elements can be suppressed. And a backing part controls the structural strength which
prevents a distortion etc. of the ultrasonic element (ultrasonic element array) arrange |
positioned at array shape with respect to the thickness of the conventional backing part, and
suppresses an unnecessary ultrasonic wave. The thickness can be reduced to the minimum
thickness that can ensure the slit holes. Therefore, it is possible to realize an ultrasonic device
capable of suppressing unnecessary ultrasonic waves and achieving thinning.
[0012]
Application Example 3 In the ultrasonic device according to the application example, it is
preferable that the slit holes be arranged to be equivalent to the arrangement interval of the
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ultrasonic elements arranged in an array.
[0013]
According to such an ultrasonic device, the slit holes are arranged to be equivalent to the
arrangement interval of the ultrasonic elements arranged in an array, whereby the ultrasonic
waves emitted from the ultrasonic elements are respectively corresponding to the slit holes. Can
be injected efficiently.
As a result, the slit holes can be arranged efficiently, so unnecessary ultrasonic waves returning
from the backing portion to the ultrasonic element can be further suppressed, and the thickness
of the backing portion can be further reduced.
[0014]
Application Example 4 In the ultrasonic device according to the application example, the backing
portion is preferably overlapped in the thickness direction.
[0015]
According to such an ultrasonic device, since the backing portion is overlapped in the thickness
direction, the ultrasonic wave can be repeatedly reflected and advanced also to the slit holes of
the overlapped backing portion, so that it is possible to Sound waves can be attenuated further.
As a result, unnecessary ultrasonic waves returning from the backing portion to the ultrasonic
element can be further suppressed.
[0016]
Application Example 5 In the ultrasonic device according to the application example, the backing
portion is preferably coated with a coating material.
[0017]
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According to such an ultrasonic device, an air layer generated between the ultrasonic element
and the backing portion can be prevented.
When a resin, for example, is used as the coating material, the acoustic impedance of the
ultrasonic element can be matched to the same degree. As a result, the ultrasonic wave emitted
from the ultrasonic element can be efficiently incident on the backing portion while suppressing
reflection at the boundary surface of the backing portion. In addition, the air layer can be
prevented inside the slit holes, and the reflected ultrasonic waves can be efficiently transmitted.
Therefore, unnecessary ultrasonic waves returning from the backing portion to the ultrasonic
element can be suppressed.
[0018]
Application Example 6 The ultrasonic probe according to this application example is
characterized by including any one of the above-described ultrasonic devices and a housing
member for exposing and housing a part of the ultrasonic devices. .
[0019]
According to such an ultrasonic probe, the ultrasonic probe can be thinned by accommodating
the ultrasonic device whose thickness has been reduced in the housing member to constitute the
ultrasonic probe.
Further, by housing the ultrasonic device that suppresses unnecessary ultrasonic waves, it is
possible to suppress that unnecessary ultrasonic waves get into the ultrasonic waves emitted
from the ultrasonic device toward the subject as noise. Therefore, the quality of the ultrasound
probe can be improved.
[0020]
Application Example 7 An electronic apparatus according to this application example is
characterized by including the above-described ultrasound probe and a processing device that
controls the ultrasound probe and processes an input signal from the ultrasound probe. Do.
[0021]
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According to such an electronic device, the convenience and the quality of the electronic device
can be improved by the ultrasonic probe and the processing device which have been made
thinner and the quality has been improved.
[0022]
Application Example 8 The ultrasonic imaging apparatus according to this application example
includes the above-described ultrasonic probe and a processing apparatus that controls the
ultrasonic probe and processes an input signal from the ultrasonic probe to generate an image,
and a process And a display device for displaying an image generated by the device.
[0023]
According to such an ultrasonic imaging apparatus, the convenience of the ultrasonic imaging
apparatus can be improved by the ultrasonic probe, the processing apparatus, and the display
apparatus which have been made thinner.
Further, by providing an ultrasonic probe (ultrasound device) for suppressing unnecessary
ultrasonic waves, the ultrasonic imaging apparatus can suppress generation of an artifact at the
time of B-mode imaging. Can be reduced.
Thus, the quality of the ultrasound imaging device can be improved.
[0024]
FIG. 1 is a perspective view showing a schematic configuration of an ultrasound imaging
apparatus according to a first embodiment.
FIG. 2 is a perspective view showing a schematic configuration of an ultrasonic probe. FIG. 2 is a
perspective view showing a schematic configuration of an ultrasonic device. The top view which
shows schematic structure of an ultrasonic element. Sectional drawing which shows schematic
structure of an ultrasonic element. Explanatory drawing which shows schematic structure of an
ultrasonic element array. Sectional drawing which shows the structure of an ultrasonic device.
The top view which looked at the ultrasonic device from the side of the backing part. Sectional
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drawing which shows the structure of the ultrasonic device which concerns on 2nd Embodiment.
Sectional drawing which shows the structure of the ultrasonic device which concerns on 3rd
Embodiment.
[0025]
In the present embodiment, an ultrasonic device 1, an ultrasonic probe 100 including an
ultrasonic device, and an ultrasonic imaging apparatus 110 as an electronic apparatus including
an ultrasonic probe will be described based on 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.
[0026]
First Embodiment
[0027]
FIG. 1 is a perspective view showing a schematic configuration of an ultrasonic imaging
apparatus 110 according to the first embodiment.
The configuration of the ultrasound imaging apparatus 110 will be described with reference to
FIG. The ultrasonic imaging apparatus 110 according to the present embodiment holds the
ultrasonic probe 100 in close contact with the skin surface of the subject and the like, transmits
ultrasonic waves from the ultrasonic probe 100, and reflects the reflected wave from the inside
of the ) Is an apparatus that receives sound waves, analyzes the received data of ultrasonic
waves, and displays the data as an image. The operator performs a puncturing operation etc.
while checking this image.
[0028]
An ultrasound imaging apparatus 110 as an electronic apparatus includes an ultrasound probe
100, a processing device 101, and a display device 102. The ultrasonic probe 100 and the
processing apparatus 101 are connected to each other by a flexible cable 103 and transmit and
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receive electrical signals. The processing device 101 is provided with a display device 102, and
displays an image processed and generated by the processing device 101 (an image based on an
ultrasonic wave detected by the ultrasonic probe 100).
[0029]
FIG. 2 is a perspective view showing a schematic configuration of the ultrasonic probe 100. As
shown in FIG. In detail, FIG. 2 is a perspective view seen from the side where the ultrasonic probe
100 is in close contact with the skin surface. FIG. 3 is a perspective view showing a schematic
configuration of the ultrasonic device 1. The configurations of the ultrasonic probe 100 and the
ultrasonic device 1 will be described with reference to FIGS. 2 and 3.
[0030]
As shown in FIG. 2, the ultrasonic probe 100 of the present embodiment is configured to include
the ultrasonic device 1, the housing member 80, and the like. The ultrasound device 1 is formed
in a substantially rectangular flat plate shape as shown in FIG. Similarly to the ultrasonic device
1, the housing member 80 is also formed in a substantially rectangular flat plate shape. The
housing member 80 has the housing portion 81, and houses the ultrasonic device 1 in a state in
which the acoustic lens 40 (lens portion 41) which is a part of the ultrasonic device 1 is exposed.
When the ultrasonic device 1 is housed in the housing portion 81, the silicone-based seal
member 85 is held in the gap between the inner side surface of the housing portion 81 and the
outer side surface of the ultrasonic device 1. The gap with the ultrasonic device 1 is sealed. The
housing member 80 is formed using a synthetic resin member in the present embodiment.
However, the present invention is not limited to this, and other members such as metal members
can be used.
[0031]
As shown in FIG. 3, in the ultrasonic device 1 of the present embodiment, the acoustic matching
layer 30, the acoustic lens 40, and the backing portion are centered on the ultrasonic element
array 10A (the ultrasonic element 10) formed in a rectangular shape. It comprises 20 mag. The
ultrasonic device 1 causes an ultrasonic wave generated by the ultrasonic element 10 to be
incident on a subject via the acoustic matching layer 30 and the acoustic lens 40. Then, the
ultrasonic device 1 receives the reflected wave (echo wave) of the ultrasonic wave reflected
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inside the object, and generates a voltage corresponding to the intensity of the echo wave.
[0032]
The acoustic matching layer 30 reduces the difference in acoustic impedance between the
ultrasonic element array 10A and the subject, suppresses acoustic reflection, and efficiently
matches the inside of the subject with acoustic matching. As shown in FIG. 2 and FIG. 3, the
acoustic lens 40 has a lens portion 41 which is convex in the thickness direction and partially
formed in a cylindrical surface shape on one surface which is an outer surface. The curvature of
the lens unit 41 is set according to the focal position of the ultrasonic wave. Then, the acoustic
lens 40 converges the spread of the ultrasonic wave emitted by the ultrasonic element array 10A
by the lens portion 41 to improve the resolution, and the backing portion 20 is emitted from the
ultrasonic element array 10A. By reducing unnecessary ultrasonic waves, the distance resolution
in the image is improved.
[0033]
As shown in FIG. 2, the scanning direction D2 is defined in parallel to the generatrix of the
acoustic lens 40, is orthogonal to the generatrix of the acoustic lens 40, and is parallel to the
surface on which the housing portion 81 of the housing member 80 is formed D1 is defined. In
this plane, the scan direction D2 and the slice direction D1 are orthogonal to each other.
[0034]
FIG. 4 is a plan view showing a schematic configuration of the ultrasonic element 10. FIG. 5 is a
cross-sectional view showing a schematic configuration of the ultrasonic element 10. As shown in
FIG. FIG. 5 shows a cross section taken along the line AA of FIG. FIG. 6 is an explanatory view
showing a schematic configuration of the ultrasonic element array 10A. The configurations of the
ultrasonic element 10 and the ultrasonic element array 10A according to the present
embodiment will be described with reference to FIGS. The ultrasonic element 10 of the present
embodiment is formed of a thin film piezoelectric element.
[0035]
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As shown in FIGS. 4 and 5, the ultrasonic element 10 has a base substrate 11, a vibrating film 13
formed on the base substrate 11, and a piezoelectric portion 18 provided on the vibrating film
13. The piezoelectric portion 18 has a first electrode 14, a piezoelectric layer 15, and a second
electrode 16.
[0036]
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 has, for example, a two-layer
structure of a silicon oxide (SiO 2) layer and a zirconium oxide (ZrO 2) layer. Here, when the base
substrate 11 is a silicon substrate, the silicon oxide layer can be formed by subjecting the
substrate surface to thermal oxidation treatment. The zirconium oxide layer is formed on the
silicon oxide layer, for example, by a method such as sputtering. Here, when using, for example,
lead zirconate titanate (PZT) as the piezoelectric layer 15 described later, the zirconium oxide
layer is a layer for preventing the diffusion of lead constituting PZT into the silicon oxide layer. .
The zirconium oxide layer also has the effect of improving the deflection efficiency with respect
to the strain of the piezoelectric layer 15.
[0037]
The first electrode 14 is formed on the upper surface of the vibrating film 13, the piezoelectric
layer 15 is formed on the upper surface of the first electrode 14, and the second electrode 16 is
formed on the upper surface of the piezoelectric layer 15. In other words, the piezoelectric body
portion 18 is configured to have the piezoelectric body layer 15 sandwiched between the first
electrode 14 and the second electrode 16.
[0038]
When the first electrode 14 is formed of a metal thin film and includes a plurality of ultrasonic
elements 10 (piezoelectric layers 15), as shown in FIG. 4, the first electrodes 14 are extended to
the outside of the element formation region and adjacent ultrasonic elements 10. The wiring may
be connected to (piezoelectric layer 15).
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[0039]
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 (PbTiO
3), lead zirconate (PbZrO 3), lead lanthanum titanate ((Pb, La) TiO 3), etc. May be used.
[0040]
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 second electrode 16 includes a plurality of ultrasonic
elements 10 (piezoelectric layers 15), as shown in FIG. 4, the second electrodes 16 are extended
to the outside of the element forming region and adjacent ultrasonic elements 10 (piezoelectric
layers 15). ) May be connected to the
[0041]
Further, as shown in FIG. 5, a moisture-proof layer 19 is provided which covers the ultrasonic
element 10 and prevents moisture permeation from the outside. The moistureproof layer 19 is
formed of a material such as alumina, and is provided on the entire surface or a part of the
ultrasonic element 10. The moisture-proof layer 19 may be provided as appropriate depending
on the state of use or the environment, and the structure without the moisture-proof layer 19
may be employed.
[0042]
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. Therefore, when a voltage is applied
to the piezoelectric layer 15, for example, a bend that is convex toward the opening 12 occurs,
and the vibrating film 13 is bent. 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. At the same time, ultrasonic waves
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12
are also emitted to the side (element forming side) opposite to the opening 12. The ultrasonic
device 1 of the present embodiment emits ultrasonic waves emitted to the side opposite to the
opening 12 (element formation side) to the subject. The voltage (drive voltage) applied to the
piezoelectric layer 15 is, for example, 10 to 30 V in peak-to-peak value, and the frequency is, for
example, 1 to 10 MHz.
[0043]
The ultrasonic element 10 also operates as a receiving element that receives an echo wave that is
emitted from the object and reflected back by the object. The vibration film 13 is vibrated by the
echo wave, stress is applied to the piezoelectric layer 15 by the vibration, and a voltage is
generated between the first electrode 14 and the second electrode 16. This voltage can be taken
out as a received signal.
[0044]
Next, with reference to FIG. 6, an ultrasonic element array 10A in which the above ultrasonic
elements 10 are arranged in an array will be described. The ultrasonic element array 10A
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 FIG. 6, as an example, eight rows are arranged along the slice direction
D1, and twelve rows are arranged along the scan direction D2.
[0045]
The drive electrode lines DL1 to DL12 are respectively wired along the slice direction D1. During
a transmission period in which ultrasonic waves are emitted, transmission signals VT1 to VT12
output from a processing circuit (not shown) constituting the processing apparatus 101 are
supplied to the respective ultrasonic elements 10 via the drive electrode lines DL1 to DL12.
Further, in the reception period for receiving the echo signal of the ultrasonic wave, the reception
signals VR1 to VR12 from the ultrasonic element 10 are output to the processing circuit through
the drive electrode lines DL1 to DL12. The common electrode lines CL1 to CL8 are respectively
wired along the scan direction D2. The common voltage VCOM is supplied to the common
electrode lines CL1 to CL8. The common voltage VCOM may be a constant DC voltage, and may
not be 0 V, that is, not the ground potential (ground potential).
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[0046]
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 10, and an ultrasonic wave
of a predetermined frequency is emitted. The arrangement of the ultrasonic elements 10 is not
limited to the matrix arrangement of m rows and n columns shown in FIG.
[0047]
FIG. 7 is a cross-sectional view showing the configuration of the ultrasound device 1. In detail, it
is a cross-sectional view of the ultrasonic device 1 cut in the scanning direction D2. FIG. 8 is a
plan view of the ultrasonic device 1 as viewed from the side of the backing portion 20. As shown
in FIG. Note that FIG. 8 illustrates the backing member 201 coated with the coating material 205
as a solid line for the convenience of description. Further, for convenience of explanation, the
number of ultrasonic elements 10 in the scanning direction D2 is illustrated as ten. The
configuration of the ultrasound device 1 will be described with reference to FIGS. 3, 7 and 8.
[0048]
As described above, the ultrasonic device 1 is configured to include the acoustic matching layer
30, the acoustic lens 40, the backing portion 20, and the like with the ultrasonic element array
10A (the ultrasonic element 10) formed in a rectangular shape as a center. Be done. In the
present embodiment, the acoustic matching layer 30 is formed on the element forming surface
(first surface) of the ultrasonic element array 10A, and the acoustic lens 40 is formed on the
acoustic matching layer 30. Further, on the surface (second surface) opposite to the element
formation surface of the ultrasonic element array 10A, a backing portion 20 for supporting the
ultrasonic element array 10A is formed.
[0049]
The acoustic lens 40 is formed of a resin such as silicone resin. As shown in FIG. 3, the lens
portion 41 of the acoustic lens 40 is provided so as to cover the range corresponding to the
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ultrasonic elements 10 constituting the ultrasonic element array 10A.
[0050]
The acoustic matching layer 30 is formed between the ultrasonic element array 10A and the
acoustic lens 40. The acoustic matching layer 30 uses a silicone-based adhesive, and by curing
the adhesive, the ultrasonic element array 10A and the acoustic lens 40 are adhered (bonded),
and the cured adhesive (resin) is acoustically matched. Act as layer 30. The acoustic matching
layer 30 mitigates the acoustic impedance mismatch between the ultrasonic element 10 and the
acoustic lens 40.
[0051]
The ultrasonic element array 10A fills the opening 12 formed in the base substrate 11 with a
silicone resin and cures the opening 12 so that the opening 12 is filled with the silicone resin.
Thereby, when connecting with the backing part 20 mentioned later, generation | occurrence |
production of an air layer in the opening part 12 is prevented.
[0052]
The backing portion 20 is configured of a backing member 201. In addition, the backing member
201 is coated with a coating material 205. In the present embodiment, the backing member 201
is made of a stainless steel member which is a rectangular plate-like metal member. The backing
member 201 may use a metal member other than a stainless steel member, a ceramic member,
or the like.
[0053]
The backing member 201 has a slit hole 202 inclined with respect to the thickness direction. The
slit hole 202 is formed corresponding to the ultrasonic element 10 in the present embodiment.
The slit hole 202 is formed to extend in the slice direction D1. Further, a plurality of slit holes
202 are formed in the scanning direction D2 at an interval (pitch) equal to the arrangement
interval of the ultrasonic elements 10, corresponding to the number of the ultrasonic elements
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10 aligned in the scanning direction D2. The hole diameter in the planar direction of the slit hole
202 (the hole diameter in the short direction) is matched to the diameter of the opening 12 of
the ultrasonic element array 10A (base substrate 11). The hole diameter may be larger than the
diameter of the opening 12.
[0054]
The slit holes 202 are formed by laser processing in the present embodiment. In detail, the slit
holes 202 are formed by laser processing using a so-called picosecond laser (short pulse laser).
The picosecond laser is a laser whose pulse width indicating the laser irradiation time is in the
picosecond range, and the irradiation time is short. Therefore, the area around the processing
part is not easily affected by heat, and burrs and the like are generated by melting. It is difficult,
high accuracy and high density drilling can be performed.
[0055]
The backing member 201 in which the slit holes 202 are formed is entirely coated with a coating
material 205. In the present embodiment, a resin such as a silicone resin is used as the coating
material 205. In the coating, the backing member 201 is set in a container serving as a jig for
coating, a silicone resin is poured into the container, and the entire backing member 201 is
coated and cured. Thereby, the backing member 201 is coated with the inside of the slit hole 202
and the outer peripheral portion of the backing member 201. Thereby, the backing portion 20 is
completed.
[0056]
Although silicone resin is used as the coating material 205 in the present embodiment, other
synthetic resin such as ABS resin having an acoustic impedance close to that of the ultrasonic
element 10 may be used. In the case of using a synthetic resin such as ABS resin, for example,
insert molding may be performed using an injection molding machine, and the entire backing
member 201 may be coated (molded) to mold the backing portion 20. The acoustic impedance of
the ultrasonic element 10 of the present embodiment is approximately 1 MRayl.
[0057]
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16
The backing portion 20 thus configured is aligned and bonded to the ultrasonic element array
10A via the adhesive layer 50. In the present embodiment, the adhesive layer 50 uses a so-called
double-sided tape.
[0058]
Next, the operation for the ultrasonic waves in the backing unit 20 will be described. In FIG. 7,
the traveling direction of the ultrasonic wave is schematically indicated by an arrow. The
ultrasonic wave emitted from the ultrasonic element 10 passes through the silicone resin filled in
the opening 12 and having an acoustic impedance similar to that of the ultrasonic element 10,
and also passes through the adhesive layer 50. The ultrasonic wave transmitted through the
adhesive layer 50 is incident on the backing unit 20.
[0059]
As described above, the coating material 205 of the backing portion 20 uses a silicone resin,
which is approximately the same as the acoustic impedance of the ultrasonic element 10, so that
the ultrasonic wave suppresses the reflection at the interface of the coating. It injects into the
backing part 20 (coating material 205).
[0060]
As shown by the arrows in FIG. 7, the ultrasonic wave incident on the backing portion 20 travels
through the coating material 205 filling the inside of the slit hole 202.
Then, the ultrasonic waves strike one of the inner walls of the inclined slit hole 202. Since the
coating material 205 and the backing member 201 have large differences in acoustic impedance,
the ultrasonic waves that hit one of the inner walls of the slit hole 202 are reflected by the inner
wall (substantially total reflection). The ultrasonic wave reflected by one of the inner walls travels
inside the slit hole 202, hits the other inner wall of the slit hole 202 again, and is similarly
reflected. By repeating such reflection, the traveling path (traveling distance) of the ultrasonic
wave becomes long, and the ultrasonic wave is attenuated by diffusion and scattering.
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[0061]
The above-described operation for ultrasonic waves is performed in each slit hole 202
corresponding to all the ultrasonic elements 10. When the tip of the backing portion 20 is an air
layer and the ultrasonic wave finally reaching the end face of the backing portion 20 is totally
reflected, the ultrasonic wave travels in the direction opposite to that described above. Repeat the
reflection again in the interior. By these operations, the ultrasonic waves returning to the
ultrasonic element 10 are attenuated.
[0062]
As shown in FIG. 8, the backing member 201 is formed of a rectangular metal member (stainless
member), and is connected at the outer peripheral portion except for the slit holes 202 extending
in the slice direction D1. The backing member 201 has the rigidity necessary to secure the
structural strength for preventing the bending and the like of the ultrasonic element array 10A.
[0063]
In addition, the slit holes 202 can suppress unnecessary ultrasonic waves after securing
structural strength (thickness) for preventing the bending of the ultrasonic element array 10A
and the like (unnecessary ultrasonic waves fall within the allowable range). The inclination angle
and the length (the thickness of the backing member 201) are set. In other words, the backing
portion 20 is set to have a thickness that can ensure structural strength for preventing deflection
of the ultrasonic element array 10A and the slit holes 202 that can suppress unnecessary
ultrasonic waves.
[0064]
Conventionally, a metal member (stainless member) having a thickness of about 10 mm was used
as a backing portion (a backing member), but the backing member 201 of this embodiment is a
metal member having a thickness of about 5 mm to 8 mm (stainless Members) can be used.
[0065]
According to the embodiment described above, the following effects can be obtained.
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[0066]
According to the ultrasonic device 1 of the present embodiment, the backing portion 20
supporting the second surface (surface opposite to the element forming surface) of the ultrasonic
element 10 is a slit hole 202 inclined with respect to the thickness direction. have.
Thus, when the ultrasonic wave emitted from the ultrasonic element 10 is incident on the inside
of the slit hole 202 which is inclined, the reflection is repeatedly advanced by the inner wall
(boundary surface) of the slit hole 202.
Thus, ultrasonic waves can be attenuated by diffusion and scattering of ultrasonic waves by
lengthening the traveling path (traveling distance) using reflection. Then, when the ultrasonic
wave that has traveled through the backing portion 20 is, for example, totally reflected and
returned to the ultrasonic element 10, it travels back while traveling along the reverse path of
the slit hole 202 of the backing portion 20. Thus, unnecessary ultrasonic waves returning from
the backing portion 20 to the ultrasonic element 10 can be suppressed. The backing unit 20
includes the use of a metal member (stainless material) or the like as the backing member 201,
and the structural strength of the ultrasonic element 10 and unnecessary ultrasonic waves with
respect to the thickness of the conventional backing unit. The thickness can be reduced to the
minimum thickness that can ensure the slit hole 202 that can suppress the Therefore, it is
possible to realize the ultrasonic device 1 capable of suppressing unnecessary ultrasonic waves
and achieving thinning.
[0067]
According to the ultrasonic device 1 of the present embodiment, even when the ultrasonic
elements 10 are arranged in an array, the ultrasonic waves are repeatedly reflected by the inner
walls of the respective slit holes 202 to advance the traveling distance. It can be made longer and
ultrasonic waves can be attenuated. Thus, unnecessary ultrasonic waves returning from the
backing portion 20 to the respective ultrasonic elements 10 can be suppressed. Further, the
backing portion 20 has a structural strength that prevents the bending or the like of the
ultrasonic element array 10A with respect to the thickness of the conventional backing portion,
including using a metal member (stainless member) or the like as the backing member 201. In
addition, the thickness can be reduced to the minimum thickness that can ensure the slit holes
202 that can suppress unnecessary ultrasonic waves. Therefore, it is possible to realize the
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ultrasonic device 1 capable of suppressing unnecessary ultrasonic waves and achieving thinning.
[0068]
According to the ultrasonic device 1 of the present embodiment, the ultrasonic waves emitted
from the ultrasonic element 10 can be obtained by arranging the slit holes 202 at the same
interval as the arrangement interval of the ultrasonic elements 10 arranged in an array. The light
can be efficiently incident on the corresponding slit holes 202. As a result, the slit holes 202 can
be arranged efficiently, so unnecessary ultrasonic waves returning from the backing portion 20
to the ultrasonic element 10 can be suppressed, and the thickness of the backing portion 20 can
be reduced.
[0069]
According to the ultrasonic device 1 of the present embodiment, the backing portion 20 is coated
with the coating material 205, so that an air layer generated between the ultrasonic element 10
and the backing portion 20 can be prevented. When a silicone resin is used as the coating
material 205, the acoustic impedance of the ultrasonic element 10 can be matched to the same
degree. As a result, the ultrasonic wave emitted from the ultrasonic element 10 can be efficiently
incident on the backing portion 20 while suppressing the reflection at the boundary surface of
the backing portion 20. In addition, the air layer can be prevented inside the slit hole 202, and
the reflected ultrasonic wave can be efficiently transmitted. Therefore, unnecessary ultrasonic
waves returning from the backing portion 20 to the ultrasonic element 10 can be suppressed.
[0070]
The ultrasonic probe 100 according to the present embodiment is configured by housing the
ultrasonic device 1 whose thickness has been reduced in the housing member 80. Therefore, the
thickness reduction of the ultrasonic probe 100 can be achieved. In addition, the ultrasonic probe
100 accommodates the ultrasonic device 1 for suppressing unnecessary ultrasonic waves, so that
unnecessary ultrasonic waves get into the ultrasonic waves emitted from the ultrasonic device 1
toward the subject as noise. Can be suppressed. Therefore, the quality of the ultrasonic probe
100 can be improved.
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[0071]
The ultrasound imaging apparatus 110 according to the present embodiment can improve the
convenience of the ultrasound imaging apparatus 110 by the ultrasound probe 100, the
processing apparatus 101, and the display apparatus 102 that have been made thinner.
[0072]
The ultrasound imaging apparatus 110 according to the present embodiment includes the
ultrasound probe 100 that can suppress the unwanted ultrasound from getting on as noise, so
that the generation and display of artifacts due to noise can be suppressed during B-mode
imaging. Can.
Thereby, the ultrasound imaging apparatus 110 can generate a clear B-mode image, and the
quality as the ultrasound imaging apparatus 110 can be improved. In addition, by using the
ultrasound imaging apparatus 110 capable of suppressing an artifact in an examination or the
like, an operator can reduce false findings and can make accurate findings.
[0073]
Second Embodiment
[0074]
FIG. 9 is a cross-sectional view showing the configuration of an ultrasonic device 1A according to
the second embodiment.
The configuration and operation of the ultrasonic device 1A of the present embodiment will be
described with reference to FIG. The ultrasonic device 1A of the present embodiment differs from
the ultrasonic device 1 of the first embodiment in the configuration of the backing portion 20A.
The other configuration is the same as that of the ultrasonic device 1 of the first embodiment.
The same components as those in the first embodiment are indicated by the same reference
numerals.
[0075]
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The backing portion 20A of the present embodiment is configured to be superimposed in the
thickness direction by using two backing portions 20 of the first embodiment. However, when
the two backing portions 20 are overlapped, the backing portions 20A are overlapped such that
the slit holes 202 of the backing member 201 have a symmetrical shape with reference to the
mutually overlapping surfaces.
[0076]
In the assembly of the backing portion 20A, first, the two backing portions 20 are turned upside
down with respect to one backing portion 20. Then, one backing portion 20, which has been
turned upside down, is aligned with the lower surface of the other backing portion 20 that has
not been flipped up and down, and is adhered via the adhesive layer 60 to complete the backing
portion 20A. Do. In the present embodiment, a so-called double-sided tape is used as the
adhesive layer 60.
[0077]
As a result, the slit holes 202 of the backing portion 20 of the next (post-stage) with respect to
the slit holes 202 of the first (pre-stage) of the backing portion 20 are arranged in a planesymmetrical position. Therefore, in the backing portion 20A, the slit holes 202 at the front stage
and the slit holes 202 at the rear stage are in a connected state although the adhesive layer 60
and the coating material 205 are interposed.
[0078]
Next, the operation for ultrasonic waves in the backing unit 20A will be described. In FIG. 9, the
traveling direction of the ultrasonic wave is schematically indicated by an arrow. The operation
of the ultrasonic wave in the preceding stage is the same as that described in the first
embodiment, and therefore, the operation of the ultrasonic wave will be described from the time
when the ultrasonic wave is emitted from the backing area 20 in the previous stage.
[0079]
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As indicated by the arrows in FIG. 9, the ultrasonic waves emitted from the backing portion 20 at
the front stage pass through the adhesive layer 60 and enter the backing portion 20 at the rear
stage. Then, the ultrasonic wave passes through the coating material 205 of the backing portion
20 at the rear stage, and efficiently travels to the inside of the slit hole 202 at the rear stage
connected to the slit hole 202 of the backing portion 20 at the front stage. Then, the ultrasonic
waves are repeatedly reflected and traveled by the inner wall of the inclined slit hole 202 in the
same manner as described above.
[0080]
As described above, in the backing unit 20A of the present embodiment, the ultrasonic wave
repeatedly travels through reflection at the slit holes 202 through the two backing units 20, so
that the traveling path (traveling distance) of the ultrasonic wave is one backing It will be longer
than the travel route in section 20. Therefore, the ultrasonic waves are further attenuated
compared to the attenuation in the first embodiment by further diffusion and scattering.
[0081]
When the tip of the backing portion 20A is an air layer and finally the ultrasonic wave that has
reached the end face of the backing portion 20A is totally reflected, the ultrasonic wave travels in
the direction opposite to that described above. Repeat the reflection again in the interior. By
these operations, the ultrasonic waves returning to the ultrasonic element 10 are further
attenuated compared to the first embodiment.
[0082]
According to the ultrasonic device 1A of the embodiment described above, in addition to the
same effects as the ultrasonic device 1 of the first embodiment, the following effects can be
obtained.
[0083]
According to the ultrasonic device 1A of the present embodiment, the backing portion 20A is
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configured by overlapping two backing portions 20 in the thickness direction.
Also, the two backing portions 20 are superimposed so that the respective slit holes 202 are
plane symmetric. By these, the length of the advancing path of the ultrasonic wave by backing
part 20A can be lengthened, and an ultrasonic wave can be attenuated further. Then, the
ultrasonic waves returning to the ultrasonic element 10 can be further attenuated. In addition,
although depending on the thickness of the backing portion 20A accepted by the ultrasonic
device 1A, the rigidity of the backing portion 20A can be improved by overlapping the two
backing portions 20.
[0084]
Third Embodiment
[0085]
FIG. 10 is a cross-sectional view showing the configuration of an ultrasonic device 1B according
to the third embodiment.
The configuration and operation of the ultrasonic device 1B of the present embodiment will be
described with reference to FIG. The ultrasonic device B of this embodiment differs from the
ultrasonic device 1 of the first embodiment in the configuration of the backing portion 20B. The
other configuration is the same as that of the ultrasonic device 1 of the first embodiment. The
same components as those in the first embodiment are indicated by the same reference
numerals.
[0086]
As in the second embodiment, the backing portion 20B of the present embodiment has a
configuration in which two backing portions are overlapped. However, how to overlap is different
from the second embodiment. The backing portion 20B of the present embodiment is configured
by overlapping the new backing portion 21 on the backing portion 20 of the first embodiment.
The backing portion 21 of the present embodiment is configured by a backing member 211
having a slit hole 212 which is inclined in the thickness direction, similarly to the backing portion
20. In addition, the backing member 211 is entirely coated with the same coating material 205
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as that of the first embodiment.
[0087]
When the backing portion 21 is superimposed on the lower surface of the backing portion 20,
the slit holes 212 of the backing portion 21 (the backing member 211) are disposed at the
extension positions of the slit holes 202 of the backing portion 20 (the backing member 201). .
Therefore, the slit holes 202 of the backing portion 20 and the slit holes 212 of the backing
portion 21 are in a connected state although the adhesive layer 60 and the coating material 205
are interposed. The slit hole 212 of the backing portion 21 is formed by adjusting the position
and the inclination angle so as to be connectable to the slit hole 202.
[0088]
Next, the operation for the ultrasonic wave in the backing unit 20B will be described. In FIG. 10,
the traveling direction of the ultrasonic wave is schematically indicated by an arrow. In addition,
since the operation | movement in the backing part 20 becomes the same as having
demonstrated in 1st Embodiment, the operation | movement description of an ultrasonic wave is
demonstrated from the time of the ultrasonic wave being inject | emitted from the backing part
20. FIG.
[0089]
As indicated by the arrows in FIG. 10, the ultrasonic waves emitted from the backing 20 pass
through the adhesive layer 60 and enter the backing 21. Then, the ultrasonic wave passes
through the coating material 205 of the backing portion 21 and efficiently travels to the inside of
the slit hole 212 connected to the slit hole 202 of the backing portion 20. Then, the ultrasonic
waves are repeatedly reflected and traveled by the inner wall of the inclined slit hole 212 in the
same manner as described above.
[0090]
As described above, in the backing portion 20B of the present embodiment, the reflection path is
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repeated through the two backing portions 20 and 21 so that the travel path (travel distance) of
ultrasonic waves is longer than the travel path in one backing portion 20. Become. Therefore, the
ultrasonic waves are further attenuated compared to the attenuation in the first embodiment by
further diffusion and scattering.
[0091]
When the tip of the backing portion 20B is an air layer and the ultrasonic wave finally reaching
the end face of the backing portion 20B is totally reflected, the ultrasonic wave travels in the slit
hole 212 along the path in the opposite direction to that described above. Reflect the inside of
202 again and advance. By these operations, the ultrasonic waves returning to the ultrasonic
element 10 are further attenuated compared to the first embodiment.
[0092]
According to the ultrasonic device 1B of the embodiment described above, the same effect as the
ultrasonic devices 1 and 1A of the first embodiment and the second embodiment can be
obtained.
[0093]
In addition, it is not limited to embodiment mentioned above, It is possible to add and implement
a various change, improvement, etc. in the range which does not deviate from the summary.
A modification is described below.
[0094]
In the ultrasonic device 1 according to the first embodiment, the backing portion 20 is formed on
the surface (second surface) opposite to the element formation surface of the ultrasonic element
10. However, the invention is not limited to this, and the backing portion 20 may be formed on
the element formation surface. In this case, the element formation surface is the second surface.
The same applies to the second and third embodiments.
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[0095]
In the ultrasonic device 1 of the first embodiment, the slit holes 202 of the backing portion 20
(the backing member 201) are formed to extend in the slice direction D1. However, the present
invention is not limited to this, and the slit holes 202 may be formed to extend in the scanning
direction D2. The same applies to the second and third embodiments.
[0096]
In the ultrasonic device 1 of the first embodiment, the slit holes 202 of the backing portion 20
(the backing member 201) are formed to extend in the slice direction D1. In other words, the slit
holes 202 are formed corresponding to the ultrasonic elements 10 for one row formed in the
slice direction D1. However, the present invention is not limited to this, and the slit hole 202 may
be configured to form one slit hole 202 corresponding to one ultrasonic element 10.
Alternatively, one slit hole 202 may be formed for a plurality of ultrasonic elements 10 including
the adjacent ultrasonic elements 10. The same applies to the second and third embodiments.
[0097]
In the ultrasonic device 1 according to the first embodiment, the slit holes 202 of the backing
portion 20 (the backing member 201) are formed at an interval (pitch) equal to the arrangement
interval of the ultrasonic elements 10 in the slice direction D1. . In other words, the slit hole 202
is formed with one slit hole 202 corresponding to the ultrasonic elements 10 for one row in the
slice direction D1. However, the invention is not limited to this, and a plurality of slit holes 202
may be formed corresponding to the ultrasonic elements 10 for one row. This also means that a
plurality of slit holes 202 may be formed corresponding to one ultrasonic element 10. The same
applies to the second and third embodiments.
[0098]
In the ultrasonic device 1 according to the first embodiment, the slit holes 202 which are inclined
corresponding to the ultrasonic elements 10 of the ultrasonic element array 10A are provided.
However, in the ultrasonic element array 10A, when the ultrasonic elements 10 located on the
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outer peripheral side are configured for dummy, the slit holes 202 may not be provided to the
ultrasonic element 10 for dummy. . The same applies to the second and third embodiments.
[0099]
The ultrasonic device 1A of the second embodiment is configured by overlapping and bonding
two backing portions 20. However, the present invention is not limited to this configuration. The
ultrasonic device 1A first stacks the two backing members 201 so that the slit holes 202 are in
plane symmetry, and then the two backing members 201 are joined by the coating material 205.
It may be constituted by coating. The same applies to the ultrasonic device 1B of the third
embodiment, and the two backing members 201 and 211 are first overlapped so that the slit
hole 212 is connected on the extension of the slit hole 202, and then the coating material is
formed. According to 205, two backing members 201 and 211 may be combined and coated.
[0100]
The ultrasonic devices 1A and 1B of the second and third embodiments are configured by
overlapping and bonding two backing portions. However, the present invention is not limited to
this configuration, and may be configured by overlapping three or more backing portions.
However, in the case of overlapping the backing portion, it is necessary to overlap in a state
where the inclined slit holes are connected so that the ultrasonic waves reflected inside the slit
holes can advance into the next slit holes.
[0101]
The ultrasonic device 1 of the first embodiment is configured to use an ultrasonic element 10
(ultrasonic element array 10A) having a thin film configuration. However, the present invention
is not limited to this, and can also be applied to a bulk-type ultrasonic device. By using a backing
portion having a slit hole inclined in the thickness direction, thinning of the backing portion can
be achieved. Can be
[0102]
1, 1A, 1B: ultrasonic device, 10: ultrasonic element, 10A: ultrasonic element array, 20, 20A, 20B,
21: backing portion, 30: acoustic matching layer, 40: acoustic lens, 80: housing member, 81:
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accommodation unit, 100: ultrasonic probe, 101: processing device, 102: display device, 103:
cable, 110: ultrasonic imaging device, 201: backing member, 202: slit hole, 205: coating material,
211: backing Member, 212 ... slit hole.
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