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DESCRIPTION JPH07123497

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DESCRIPTION JPH07123497
[0001]
BACKGROUND OF THE INVENTION 1. Field of the Invention The present invention relates to an
ultrasonic probe and a method of manufacturing an ultrasonic probe.
[0002]
2. Description of the Related Art FIG. 8 is a block diagram of a conventional ultrasonic probe. In
the figure, the ground electrode layer 2 is provided on one side of the piezoelectric vibrator (PZT)
1 that excites an ultrasonic wave and generates an electrical signal corresponding to the
ultrasonic wave by the piezoelectric effect, and the positive side on the other side. Layers 3 are
formed respectively. As shown in FIG. 8, the ground electrode layer 2 is formed with an extension
2 a that extends from one surface of the piezoelectric vibrator 1 to a part of the other surface via
the side surface.
[0003]
The width is set narrower than the piezoelectric vibrator 1 on the side of the positive electrode
layer 3 of the piezoelectric vibrator 1, and the piezoelectric vibrator 1 is mechanically supported
to acoustically damp the piezoelectric vibrator 1 so that an ultrasonic pulse waveform is
generated. The back load material 4 is provided to shorten the length. Then, the conductive
adhesive 5 is used for the extension part 2 a of the ground electrode layer 2 on one side surface
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of the back load material 4, and the conductive adhesive is used on the other side surface of the
back load material 4. The FPCs 8 are provided using the reference numeral 7 respectively.
[0004]
Next, the operation of the above configuration will be described. The piezoelectric vibrator 1
excites (transmits) an ultrasonic wave (mechanical vibration) in response to an electric signal
applied to the piezoelectric vibrator 1 through the FPC 8 and comes back from the living body by
the piezoelectric effect. Generate (receive) an electrical signal corresponding to the ultrasonic
wave.
[0005]
However, there are the following problems in the construction of the ultrasonic probe of the
above construction.
[0006]
The back load material 4 has a width of about 0.5 mm on one side and about both sides on both
sides compared with the width of the piezoelectric vibrator 1 for the connection between the
ground electrode layer 1 and GND 6 and the connection between the positive electrode layer 3
and the FPC 8 The non-functioning region V which is set to about 1 mm narrow and is not
supported by the back load material 1 on the piezoelectric vibrator 1 and does not function at all
as the piezoelectric vibrator is formed.
[0007]
Due to the presence of such a non-functional region V, unnecessary vibration occurs at the time
of transmission, and the quality (S / N ratio) of the received signal is degraded.
Generally, an ultrasound probe is to be examined from the body surface, but in recent years, in
order to obtain more information, an ultrasound probe is placed in the body, or directly applied
to an organ during surgery for examination. Things are being done.
In this case, (1) the area of the opening in the thickness direction of the ultrasonic probe (the
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direction of the arrow t in FIG. 8) (the surface to which the ultrasonic wave of the piezoelectric
transducer is emitted) because That is, it is necessary to reduce the size of the piezoelectric
vibrator itself.
[0008]
(2)
Since the ultrasound probe is placed in the body or inserted between organs, it is desirable to be
as small as possible. The non-functioning region v of the piezoelectric vibrator 1 of the ultrasonic
probe in the above configuration occupies a large percentage as the piezoelectric vibrator 1 itself
is miniaturized, and the deterioration of the quality of the received signal becomes large. In
addition, the existence of the non-functional area V itself is a factor that alienates miniaturization.
[0009]
The connection between the ground electrode layer 1 of the piezoelectric vibrator 1 and the GND
6 and the connection between the positive electrode layer 3 of the piezoelectric vibrator 1 and
the FPC 8 depend on the conductive adhesives 5 and 7 only. Connection strength is weak.
[0010]
The process of connecting the GND 6 and the FPC 8 to each of the piezoelectric vibrators 1
arranged in an array after laminating the piezoelectric vibrator 1 and the back load material 4 is
a precise operation and requires skill.
[0011]
The present invention has been made in view of the above problems, and an object thereof is that
the entire opening in the thickness direction can be used as a functional area, the quality of the
received signal of the piezoelectric vibrator is good, and the miniaturization is easy. It is in
providing a sound wave probe.
[0012]
Another object of the present invention is to provide a method of manufacturing an ultrasonic
probe which is easy to manufacture.
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[0013]
FIG. 1 is a principle diagram of the invention according to claim 1.
In the figure, 100 is a piezoelectric vibrator, 101 is a first electrode stacked on one surface of the
piezoelectric vibrator 100 via an adhesive layer 102, and 103 is an adhesive layer on the other
surface of the piezoelectric vibrator 100. It is the 2nd electrode laminated via 104.
[0014]
A back load material 105 is stacked on the second electrode 103, which is either a positive
electrode or a ground electrode, and has substantially the same shape.
Usually, the first electrode 101 is used as a ground electrode, and the second electrode 103 is
used as a positive electrode.
[0015]
An acoustic lens 106 and an acoustic matching layer 107 having substantially the same shape as
the piezoelectric vibrator 100 are provided on the other electrode 101.
Further, in the first electrode 101 and the second electrode 103, an electrode lead-out portion
101a and an electrode lead-out portion 103a which extend from the laminated portion with the
piezoelectric vibrator 100 are formed.
[0016]
Although the example in which both the members of the acoustic matching layer 107 and the
acoustic lens 106 are provided on the other electrode 101 has been described in this principle
view, the acoustic matching layer 107 may be omitted.
[0017]
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According to a second aspect of the present invention, there is provided a piezoelectric vibrator,
a first electrode layer formed on one surface of the piezoelectric vibrator, and a second electrode
layer formed on the other surface of the piezoelectric vibrator. A conductive matching layer
consisting of one or more layers laminated via an adhesive layer on the first electrode layer, and
flexibility laminated via the adhesive layer on the matching layer. A second electrode having
flexibility, a second electrode having a flexibility laminated on the second electrode layer, and an
acoustic matching layer having substantially the same shape on the second electrode.
Alternatively, an acoustic lens may be provided without any interposition, and the first electrode
and the second electrode may be extended from a portion where the piezoelectric vibrator is
stacked to form an electrode extraction portion.
[0018]
In the invention according to claim 3, the adhesive layer in the invention according to claim 1 or
2 is formed of a pressurized insulating adhesive.
The invention according to claim 4 applies an adhesive to both surfaces of the piezoelectric
vibrator, and has a first electrode having an electrode extraction portion on one surface and a
second electrode having an electrode extraction portion on the other surface. And laminating the
first electrode and the second electrode among the first electrode and the second electrode, from
the side of the positive electrode on which the plurality of signal lines are formed, corresponding
to the signal line, and And b) bending the electrode lead-out portions of the second electrode in
the same direction.
[0019]
The invention according to claim 5 is characterized in that the insulating adhesive is applied to
both surfaces of the piezoelectric vibrator, the first electrode having an electrode extraction
portion on one side, and the electrode extraction portion on the other side. A step of laminating
two electrodes, a step of pressing the laminated first electrode, the piezoelectric vibrator and the
second electrode in the laminating direction, and a plurality of signal lines among the first
electrode and the second electrode are formed. The method further comprises the steps of:
cutting the electrode from the side of the positive electrode corresponding to the signal line; and
bending the electrode extraction portions of the first electrode and the second electrode in the
same direction.
[0020]
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In the ultrasonic probe according to the first to third aspects of the present invention, the entire
opening in the thickness direction is a functional area because the shapes of the laminated
surfaces of the piezoelectric vibrator 100 and the backing material 105 are substantially equal.
The quality of the received signal of the piezoelectric vibrator is good, and the miniaturization
can be facilitated.
[0021]
In the method of manufacturing an ultrasonic probe according to the fourth and fifth aspects of
the invention, connection of the electrodes to each array is simplified by cutting out the arrays
after connecting the electrodes.
[0022]
Next, an embodiment of the present invention will be described with reference to the drawings.
2 is a cross-sectional view of an essential part of an ultrasonic probe according to an
embodiment of the present invention, FIG. 3 is a perspective view of an essential part of the
ultrasonic probe shown in FIG. 2, and FIG. 4 is a perspective view of the piezoelectric transducer
in FIG. FIG. 5 is a developed view of the FPC in FIG. 2. First, the configuration of the ultrasonic
probe of the present embodiment will be described using FIG. 2 to FIG.
In the figure, as shown in FIG. 4, the first ground electrode layer 12 is provided on one side of
the plurality of piezoelectric vibrators (PZT) 11, and the first positive electrode layer 13 is
provided on the other side. Are formed in advance.
In the present embodiment, the first and second electrode layers 12 and 13 are gold sputter
electrode layers having a thickness of about 1000 Å effective for increasing the frequency, but
the material is not limited.
[0023]
A conductive acoustic matching layer (mainly composed of graphite) composed of one or more
layers on the first ground electrode layer 12 side of the piezoelectric vibrator 11 via the
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pressure-cured insulating adhesive layer 14 To be stacked).
Further, a polymer film 17 is laminated on the acoustic matching layer 15 via the pressure-cured
insulating adhesive 16.
The polymer film 17 is composed of two layers of a film body 18 as an acoustic matching layer
and a copper layer 19 formed by vapor deposition on the insulating adhesive layer 14 side of the
film body 18. Then, a part of the polymer film 17 extends from the laminated portion with the
piezoelectric vibrator 11, and an electrode extraction portion 17 a is formed at the tip of the
extended portion.
[0024]
An FPC 21 is laminated on the side of the first positive electrode layer 13 of the piezoelectric
vibrator 11 via the pressure-cured insulating adhesive layer 20. As shown in FIG. 5, in the FPC
21, a conductive pattern 23 corresponding to the piezoelectric vibrator 11 is formed on the base
22 of polyimide and on the piezoelectric vibrator 11 side on the base 22 by vapor deposition of
copper of 3 μm thickness. It is done. Of the conductive pattern 23 in FIG. 5, the hatched portion
is in contact with the first positive electrode layer 13 of the piezoelectric vibrator 11 and is
electrically conductive, and portions other than the hatched portion of the conductive pattern 23
are applied to the surface. It is insulated by the resist which has been Further, both sides of the
FPC 21 extend from the laminated portion with the piezoelectric vibrator 11, and an electrode
lead-out portion 21 a is formed at the tip of the extended portion.
[0025]
A back load member 24 is attached to the base portion 22 side of the FPC 21 to mechanically
support the piezoelectric vibrator 11 and acoustically brake the piezoelectric vibrator 11 to
shorten an ultrasonic pulse waveform.
[0026]
Furthermore, the acoustic matching layer 25 and the acoustic lens 26 are stacked on the copper
layer 19.
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Next, a method of manufacturing the ultrasonic probe with the above configuration will be
described. As shown in FIG. 4, the first ground electrode layer 12 and the first positive electrode
layer 13 are formed on both surfaces of the piezoelectric vibrator 11 by gold sputtering (step 1).
[0027]
As shown in FIG. 6, using an insulating epoxy resin adhesive for the first ground electrode layer
12 of the piezoelectric vibrator 11, the acoustic matching layer 15 and the polymer film 17 are
formed on the first positive electrode layer 13. The FPCs 21 are respectively laminated using an
insulating epoxy resin adhesive, and a pressure P of at least 3 kgf / cm 2 or more is applied to fix
them (step 2).
[0028]
Perform sub die from the FPC 21 side.
Specifically, the piezoelectric vibrator 11 is divided into a plurality of electrically independent
arrays by forming a cut groove in a portion indicated by a two-dot chain line shown in FIG. 7
using a dicing saw (step 3). The width t of the incised groove at this time is about 40 μm to 50
μm.
[0029]
Next, the backing material 24, the acoustic matching layer 25 and the acoustic lens 26 are
attached (step 4). Finally, both sides of the FPC 21 and one side of the polymer film 17 are bent
into a shape as shown in FIG. 2 (step 5).
[0030]
Next, the operation of the above configuration will be described. The piezoelectric vibrator 11
excites (transmits) an ultrasonic wave (mechanical vibration) in response to the electric signal
applied to the piezoelectric vibrator 11 via the FPC 21. The excited ultrasonic waves are
acoustically matched with the living body by the acoustic matching layer 15, the film body 18,
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the acoustic matching layer 25 and the acoustic lens 26, are converged by the acoustic lens 26,
and are transmitted into the living body .
[0031]
Further, the piezoelectric vibrator generates (receives) an electric signal in response to the
ultrasonic wave returned from the living body by the piezoelectric effect. By the way, between
the first ground electrode layer 12 of the piezoelectric vibrator 11 and the acoustic matching
layer 15, the insulating adhesive layer 14 is between the acoustic matching layer 15 and the
copper layer 19 of the polymer film 17. And the insulating adhesive layer 20 intervenes between
the first positive electrode layer 13 of the piezoelectric vibrator 11 and the conductive pattern
23 of the FPC 21. There is. On the other hand, the polymer film 17, the acoustic matching layer
15, the piezoelectric vibrator 11 and the FPC 21 are respectively integrated using an insulating
epoxy resin adhesive under a pressure P of 3 kgf / cm 2 or more. .
[0032]
Therefore, the thickness of these insulating adhesive layers 14, 16 and 20 is thin, and the
conductor members are sufficiently close. Even with such a thin insulating layer, charge transfer
occurs due to tunneling, Schottky conduction, impurity conduction, and the like. In addition, the
thickness of the insulating adhesive layers 14, 16 and 20 is not constant, and is present in a
certain probability due to the surface roughness of the opposing conductor members, and in
some places, the thickness is extremely zero. That is, the first ground electrode layer 12 and the
acoustic matching layer 15 of the piezoelectric vibrator 11, the copper layer 19 of the acoustic
matching layer 15 and the polymer film 17, and the first positive electrode layer of the
piezoelectric vibrator 11 are close. There is also a place where the conductive pattern 13 of the
FPC 13 and the FPC 21 come in contact with each other, and the movement of the charge occurs
at this contact place.
[0033]
According to the above configuration, the connection between the first ground electrode layer 12
of the piezoelectric vibrator 11 and the copper layer 19 of the polymer film 17 and the first
positive electrode layer 13 of the piezoelectric vibrator 11 and the conductive pattern 23 of the
FPC 21 The connection with this is performed by laminating the piezoelectric vibrator 11, the
polymer film 17 and the FPC 21, and the connection strength of the electrodes is strong.
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[0034]
Further, by interposing the conductive acoustic matching layer 15, the acoustic matching is
improved, and hence the efficiency at the time of ultrasonic wave transmission and reception is
improved.
Furthermore, since the back load material 24 having the same size as the piezoelectric vibrator
11 can be laminated, the non-functioning area of the piezoelectric vibrator 11 is eliminated, and
the entire opening in the thickness direction of the piezoelectric vibrator 11 serves as a
functional area. It can be used, it is easy to miniaturize, there is no generation of unnecessary
vibration at the time of transmission, and the quality (S / N ratio) of the received signal becomes
good.
[0035]
Further, the acoustic matching layer 15 and the polymer film 17 are laminated on one side of the
piezoelectric vibrator 11 via the insulating adhesive, and the FPC 21 is laminated on the other
side via the insulating adhesive. If these are pressurized, the connection of the electrodes is
completed, and the manufacturing method is simple.
[0036]
The present invention is not limited to the above embodiment.
Although the acoustic matching layer 15 is provided between the polymer film 17 and the
piezoelectric vibrator 11 in the above embodiment, the acoustic impedance matching between
the living body and the piezoelectric vibrator 11 can be achieved only with the film body 18 of
the polymer film 17. If it can be removed, the acoustic matching layer 15 can be unnecessary.
Similarly, the acoustic matching layer 25 may be unnecessary.
[0037]
In addition, although 16, 14 and 20 are insulating adhesive layers, in step 3 in the manufacturing
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method, a dicing saw is used to form cut grooves, and the piezoelectric vibrators 11 are divided
into a plurality of completely electrically independent arrays. If it is possible, it is possible to use
a conductive adhesive. In this case, the step of pressing the laminate becomes unnecessary.
[0038]
Furthermore, although the FPC 21 is used for taking out the positive electrode side of the
piezoelectric vibrator 11, a metal foil corresponding to the piezoelectric vibrator 11 may be used.
Further, in the above embodiment, although the description has been made using a linear type
ultrasonic probe, the present invention can be applied to a curved linear array type, a matrix
array type, and an annular array type ultrasonic probe.
[0039]
Furthermore, the conduction of the insulating adhesive layer does not necessarily have to be in
direct current conduction. When the probe itself is operated, the insulating adhesive layer is a
capacitor, and the piezoelectric vibrator may be driven by alternating current.
[0040]
As described above, according to the present invention, according to the inventions of claims 1 to
3, the openings in the thickness direction are formed by the substantially equal shape of the
laminated surface of the piezoelectric vibrator and the back load material. The whole can be used
as a functional area, and the quality of the received signal of the piezoelectric vibrator is good,
and an ultrasonic probe that can be easily miniaturized can be realized.
[0041]
According to the invention of the fourth and fifth aspects, there is provided a method of
manufacturing an ultrasonic probe in which connection of the electrodes to each array is
simplified by cutting out the arrays after connecting the electrodes. realizable.
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