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DESCRIPTION JPH07265315

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DESCRIPTION JPH07265315
[0001]
BACKGROUND OF THE INVENTION 1. Field of the Invention The present invention relates to an
ultrasonic probe, and in particular, detects the operating temperature of a piezoelectric vibrator
for generating ultrasonic waves to prevent characteristic deterioration and improve safety. It
relates to an acoustic probe.
[0002]
BACKGROUND OF THE INVENTION An ultrasound probe is useful as a transmission / reception
unit in a medical ultrasound diagnostic apparatus such as a medical device, using a piezoelectric
transducer as a source of ultrasound. In such a thing, a high voltage | pressure pulse is applied to
a piezoelectric vibrator, and the ultrasonic wave centering on the resonant frequency determined
by the thickness is transmitted / received. In recent years, safety problems such as characteristic
deterioration of an ultrasonic probe and low temperature burns have been pointed out due to
heat from a piezoelectric vibrator generated at the time of energy conversion from electricity to
machinery.
[0003]
2. Description of the Related Art FIG. 2 is an ultrasonic probe diagram for explaining a
conventional example of this type, wherein FIG. 2 (a) is a front view and FIG. 2 (b) is a side view.
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1
The ultrasonic probe is formed by arranging strip-shaped piezoelectric elements 2 made of PZT
(lead zirconate titanate) on a backing material 1 in the width direction. Driving electrodes 3 (ab)
are provided on both main surfaces of the piezoelectric element 2, and a reinforcing filler 4 is
embedded between the piezoelectric elements 2. The drive electrode 3a on the front surface is a
reference potential electrode, and the drive electrode 3b on the rear surface is a signal electrode.
Then, on the front surface of the piezoelectric element 2, acoustic matching with the living body
is measured, and a two-layer acoustic matching layer 5 (ab) is provided to improve the ultrasonic
wave propagation efficiency. Furthermore, an acoustic lens 6 which is convex in the longitudinal
direction of the piezoelectric element 2 is provided. Flexible substrates 7 are interposed on both
sides of the rear surface of the piezoelectric element 2, and signal electrodes 3 b are alternately
(out of zigzag) derived from the signal path 8. The reference potential electrode 3a is commonly
connected to both sides of the piezoelectric element 2 by lead wires 9 and is derived in order to
maintain the symmetry of the ultrasonic wave. In addition, the backing material 1 is fixed to the
base 10. Then, in such a device, for example, a high voltage pulse is applied to each piezoelectric
element 2 through a delay circuit (not shown) and sector drive is performed.
[0004]
However, in the ultrasonic probe of such a configuration, heat is generated in each piezoelectric
element 2 when a continuous high voltage pulse is applied. These heats increase the surface
temperature of the piezoelectric element, and in particular, the interface with the acoustic
matching layer 5. Therefore, there is a problem that the acoustic characteristics are deteriorated
due to the breakage, peeling, and the like of the acoustic matching layer 5 and the like, and the
reliability, the quality, and the safety such as low temperature burns are impaired.
[0005]
Because of this, conventionally, as shown in FIG. 3, a temperature sensitive element such as a
thermistor 11 is embedded in the backing material 1 and its lead wire 12 is led to the outside.
Then, the heat generation temperature (operating temperature) by the piezoelectric element 2 is
detected from the resistance value of the thermistor 11, and when it exceeds the specified value,
the operation from the diagnostic device is interrupted to protect the ultrasonic probe. I was on
my mind. However, in such a device, since the thermistor 11 is embedded in the backing material
1 and separated, the operating temperature of the piezoelectric element 2 can not be measured
in real time, and the above-mentioned reliability and quality decrease, low temperature burns,
etc. There was a problem that the safety of the It is also conceivable to embed the thermistor 11
in a portion close to the piezoelectric element 2 and to measure in real time, but in this case, the
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2
effect of the backing material 1 is lost, so it can not be adopted.
[0006]
SUMMARY OF THE INVENTION It is an object of the present invention to provide an ultrasonic
probe with high safety against low temperature burns and the like by measuring the operating
temperature of a piezoelectric vibrator in real time, maintaining reliability and quality. Do.
[0007]
According to the present invention, a conductor is connected to a drive electrode of a
piezoelectric vibrator, a temperature sensitive element is attached to the conductor, and an
operating temperature of the piezoelectric vibrator is detected.
Hereinafter, one embodiment of the present invention will be described together with its
operation.
[0008]
DETAILED DESCRIPTION OF THE PREFERRED EMBODIMENTS FIG. 1 is a view for explaining an
embodiment of the present invention. FIG. 1 (a) is a partial view of an ultrasonic probe, and FIG. 1
(b) is a side view. The same reference numerals are given to the same parts as those in the prior
art example, and the description thereof will be simplified. As in the prior art, the ultrasonic
probe has the filler 4 for reinforcement provided in the gap, has the reference potential and the
signal electrode 3 (ab) on both main surfaces, and the acoustic matching layer 5 on the front
surface The piezoelectric elements 2 provided with the acoustic lens 6 are arranged on the
backing material 1. Further, on the rear surface of each piezoelectric element 2, a flexible
substrate 7 for leading out the signal electrodes 3b in a zigzag shape is connected. And, in this
embodiment, the silver foil 13 is joined to one end side of the piezoelectric element 2 and is led
out. Further, the thermistor 11 is fixed on the silver foil 13 and the lead wire 12 is led to the
outside. The other ends of the piezoelectric elements 2 are commonly connected by lead wires 9.
[0009]
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With such a configuration, the heat generation temperature (operating temperature) of the
piezoelectric element 2 can be detected in real time through the silver foil 13. Therefore, when
the operating temperature becomes equal to or higher than the specified value, the application of
the high voltage pulse from the diagnostic device can be interrupted to suppress the heat
generation. From such a thing, destruction of the acoustic matching layer 5 can be prevented,
and the reliability and quality of an ultrasonic probe, and safety | security, such as a low
temperature burn, can be maintained. Further, in this embodiment, the silver foil 13 is provided
at one end of the piezoelectric element 2 and the lead wire 9 is provided at the other end, so that
the symmetry of ultrasonic waves can be maintained.
[0010]
[Other Matters] Although one thermistor 11 is attached to the silver foil 13 in the above
embodiment, the thermistor 11 may be attached to each piezoelectric element 2 correspondingly.
In this case, the silver foil 13 may be divided independently for each piezoelectric element 2.
Alternatively, the piezoelectric elements 2 may be divided into a plurality of groups, silver foils
13 may be provided for each group, and the thermistors 11 may be attached to each of the
groups. Further, the material is not limited to the silver foil 13 and may be any one having good
thermal conductivity (thermal conductor). Further, not only the sector drive but also other drive
method or single plate may be used. Although the temperature sensitive element is a thermistor
11, it may be a temperature sensor such as a positor or a diode using temperature current
characteristics, and it can be appropriately modified without departing from the scope of the
present invention.
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