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DESCRIPTION JPH01293799

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DESCRIPTION JPH01293799
[0001]
FIELD OF THE INVENTION The present invention relates to an ultrasonic probe used in an
ultrasonic diagnostic apparatus and the like and a method of manufacturing the same. PRIOR
ART As a conventional ultrasonic probe, it is known that an ultrasonic transducer array is curved
in a convex or concave shape with a constant curvature as described in Japanese Patent
Application Laid-Open No. 60-124199 etc. It is done. Hereinafter, a method of manufacturing the
above-mentioned conventional ultrasonic probe will be described with reference to FIGS. 3 (a)
and 3 (b). As shown in FIG. 3 (a), first, an ultrasonic wave actuator that converts an electrical
signal into mechanical vibration (in practice, electrodes are provided on both sides of the
piezoelectric element, but are simplified) A thin back load material (backing material) 52 of about
1 to 3 mm is adhered to the bottom of the substrate 51, and the acoustic matching layer 53 is
adhered to the top. Next, based on the back load member 53, the ultrasonic transducers 51 are
cut into strips by a cutting machine and divided to form an ultrasonic transducer array. Then, as
shown in FIG. 3 (b), the ultrasonic transducer array is curved together with the backing material
53, and is bonded to the curved surface 55, which has been previously processed into a thick
backing material 54. In the prior art as described above, the back load member 52 is required to
have a large ultrasonic wave propagation attenuation and to have an appropriate acoustic
impedance, and several kinds of materials which can satisfy these requirements are used. It is
done. However, no matter which material is used, it is hard to say that it is flexible, and breakage
caused by the back load member 52 due to the stress generated in the back load member 52
when it is bent after being cut, or ultrasonic transducer array It has problems in the production
process such as chipping, and even if there is no breakage or chipping at the time of bending, not
a little, stress remains in the inside, and it is used as an ultrasonic probe Among them, there is a
possibility of performance deterioration due to the change with time, and there were many
problems in reliability. The present invention solves the problems of the prior art as described
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above, and provides an ultrasonic probe which can maintain high reliability over a long period of
time, and easily In addition, it is an object of the present invention to provide a method of
manufacturing an ultrasonic probe which can be manufactured with good yield and hence can be
provided inexpensively. Means for Solving the Problems In order to achieve the above object, in
the ultrasonic probe according to the present invention, ultrasonic transducers for converting an
electric signal into mechanical vibration are arranged in an array shape curved at a constant
curvature. And, each gap is filled with an adhesive resin material and hardened, and the curved
and fixed ultrasonic transducer array is fixed to the curved surface of the backing material.
Further, in the method of manufacturing an ultrasonic probe according to the present invention,
in order to achieve the above object, a polymer having flexibility on one surface of a flat
ultrasonic transducer for converting an electric signal into mechanical vibration The sheet is
releasably fixed, the ultrasonic transducer is cut to form an array, and a flexible polymer sheet is
releasably fixed to the opposite side of the ultrasonic transducer array to obtain a desired
curvature. The resin material having adhesive property is filled and cured in each gap between
the ultrasonic transducer array, and after curing, the mold table is removed and the polymer
sheet on both sides is peeled off. The ultrasonic transducer array fixed in this curved state is
fixed to the curved surface of the backing material. Operation The ultrasonic probe of the present
invention has the following functions by the above technical means. That is, the ultrasonic
transducer array may be filled with a resin material having adhesiveness in the gap and cured,
and the curved ultrasonic transducer array may be adhered to the curved surface of the back
load material without stress remaining inside thereof. It is possible to prevent peeling, change in
curvature, etc. over a long period of time. The method of manufacturing the ultrasonic probe
according to the present invention has the following operation according to the above technical
means. That is, although the cut ultrasonic transducer array is curved together with the polymer
sheet, since the ultrasonic transducer array is completely cut, it is only the polymer sheet that is
curved, and these are to be curved. The required external force can be very small. Then, after
filling the resin material in each gap of the ultrasonic transducer array and curing it, if the
polymer sheets on both sides are peeled off, the slight stress can also be removed, and the
ultrasonic transducer array can be removed. It can be bonded to the curved surface of the
backing material without leaving stress inside. Examples of the present invention will be
described below with reference to the drawings. FIG. 1 is a schematic side view of an ultrasonic
transducer array and an acoustic matching layer constituting an ultrasonic probe in an
embodiment of the present invention, and FIG. 2 (a) or c) is an embodiment of the present
invention It is a schematic side view which shows the manufacturing method of the ultrasound
probe in. As shown in FIG. 2 (a) K, a flat plate type ultrasonic transducer for converting an
electric signal into mechanical vibration (in practice, electrodes are provided on both sides of the
piezoelectric element, but are simplified) A thin, flexible adhesive sheet of the polymer sheet 2 is
releasably adhered to the bottom of 1 and an acoustic matching layer 3 is provided on the top of
the ultrasonic transducer l. As this polymer sheet, it is desirable to use a material having
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dimensional stability such as polyester, polyind or polypropylene having a thickness of 20 to 100
μm, and as an adhesive material to be treated on the surface, acrylic ester and others are
included. Besides acrylics, general materials such as silicones and rubbers can be used.
Next, based on the polymer sheet 3, the acoustic matching layer 2 and the ultrasonic transducer
1 are cut into strips as shown in FIG. 2 (b) by a cutting machine, and an ultrasonic transducer
having the acoustic matching layer 2 a An array 1a is formed. At this time, the ultrasonic
transducer 1 completely cuts only the ultrasonic imaging element 1 in the thickness direction.
Next, as shown in FIG. 2C, the ultrasonic transducer array 1a is placed with the polymer sheet 2
side down on the curved surface formed to a desired blood rate in the mold table 4, in the
illustrated example, the convex surface 5. As a result, the polymer sheet 2 bends along the
convex surface 5 of the mold table 4 due to its flexibility. Next, on the opposite side of the
ultrasonic transducer array 1a, that is, on the upper side of the acoustic matching layer 3a in the
illustrated example, the adhesive layer of the same polymer sheet 6 as above is adhered in a
releasable manner in a curved state. Next, the curved surface of the mold 7, that is, the concave
surface 8 having a curvature corresponding to the convex surface 5 of the mold 4 is placed on
the upper side of the polymer sheet 6. Adhesiveness from the side to each gap 9 of the ultrasonic
transducer array 1a and the acoustic matching layer 3a in a state in which the mold table 7 is
simply placed or a load in the compression direction is applied to the mold tables 4 and 7 And
filled with a resin material 10 such as Epokin resin having an appropriate hardness and curing.
After curing, each mold stand 4.7 is removed, and the polymer sheet 2.6 on both sides is peeled
off, and as shown in FIG. The ultrasonic transducer array 1a and the acoustic matching layer 3a
in which no stress remains can be obtained. Then, the ultrasonic transducer array 1a fixed in this
curved state is fixed to a curved surface formed with the same curvature on a backing material
(not shown) by means such as adhesion, etc., and each electrode of the ultrasonic transducer
array 1a The ultrasonic probe of the present invention can be obtained by connecting a
conductor to which an electric signal is applied. Although the acoustic matching layer 3 is
provided on the flat ultrasonic transducer 1 before cutting in the above embodiment, it may be
provided after the ultrasonic transducer array 1a is curved. In addition, the ultrasonic transducer
array 1a can be curved in a concave shape. Effects of the Invention As described above,
according to the ultrasonic probe of the present invention, the ultrasonic transducer array is
filled with a resin material having adhesiveness in the gap and cured, and the curved ultrasonic
transducer array is Since it is possible to adhere to the curved surface of the back load material
in a state in which no stress remains inside, peeling, a change in curvature, etc. can be prevented
over a long period of time. Therefore, high reliability can be maintained over a long period of
time.
Further, according to the method of manufacturing an ultrasonic probe of the present invention,
the cut ultrasonic transducer array is curved together with the polymer sheet, but since the
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ultrasonic transducer array is completely cut, the curvature It is only the polymer sheet that can
be used, and the external force required to bend them can be very small. Then, after filling the
resin material in each gap of the ultrasonic transducer array and curing it, if the polymer sheets
on both sides are peeled off, the slight stress can also be removed, and the ultrasonic transducer
array can be removed. It can be bonded to the curved surface of the backing material without
leaving stress inside. Therefore, it is possible to manufacture easily and with high yield even in an
ultrasonic imaging moving element array with a small curvature without causing a drop in the
ultrasonic transducer array in the manufacturing process, and providing it with high reliability
and low cost. be able to.
[0002]
Brief description of the drawings
[0003]
FIG. 1 is a schematic side view of an ultrasonic transducer array and an acoustic matching layer
constituting an ultrasonic probe in an embodiment of the present invention, and FIG. 2 (a) or C) is
an embodiment of the present invention FIGS. 3 (a) and 3 (b) are schematic side views showing a
method of manufacturing a conventional ultrasonic probe.
l · · · Flat ultrasonic transducer, 1a · · · ultrasonic transducer array, 2 · polymer sheet), 3.1.
Acoustic matching layer, 4 ... mold base, 5 ... convex surface, 6 ... polymer sheet, 7 ... mold base,
訃 · · concave surface, 9 ... gap, 10 ... resin material. Name of agent Attorney Nakao Toshio Other
1 person Figure 2
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