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DESCRIPTION JPH11113907

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DESCRIPTION JPH11113907
[0001]
BACKGROUND OF THE INVENTION 1. Field of the Invention The present invention relates to a
method of manufacturing an ultrasonic probe used in a medical ultrasonic diagnostic apparatus.
[0002]
2. Description of the Related Art Heretofore, as for an electronic scanning ultrasonic probe, those
described in the revised Medical Ultrasonic Device Handbook, edited by Japan Electronic
Machinery Industries Association, page 42 of Corona Company, and in Fig. 2.39 are known.
There is. FIG. 5 shows the configuration of the conventional example, in which the piezoelectric
element 12 is adhered to the surface of the backing material 11, and the first acoustic matching
layer 13 is sequentially adhered to the piezoelectric element 12 with an adhesive or the like.
Next, a part of the first acoustic matching layer 13, the piezoelectric element 12 and the backing
material 11 are cut by a dicing machine or the like and divided into a plurality of pieces, and the
piezoelectric elements 12 are formed into an array of elements arranged in a line. . Then, the cut
grooves 15 are filled with an adhesive such as epoxy resin and hardened, and then the second
acoustic matching layer 14 is adhered.
[0003]
However, in the conventional electronic scanning ultrasonic probe configured as described
above, even when the target final shape, for example, the arrayed piezoelectric elements 12 is to
be accurately arranged on one plane, the flat surface is flat. When the piezoelectric element is
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adhered on the back load material 11, the cut groove 15 is formed by a dicing machine or the
like and divided into plural pieces, and the groove is filled with an adhesive such as epoxy resin
and hardened. It is deformed from the intended final shape in which the piezoelectric element 12
is disposed on one plane by being deformed due to curing shrinkage of the adhesive or the like.
[0004]
If the final shape of the array of piezoelectric elements originally intended is changed as an
ultrasonic probe, the side lobes of ultrasonic waves increase for the following reasons, and the
resolution of ultrasonic images is degraded.
In addition, image distortion occurs and it becomes impossible to measure the distance with high
accuracy.
[0005]
The electronic scanning ultrasonic probe has a plurality of piezoelectric elements arrayed, and a
group of piezoelectric elements are used to electronically transmit and receive signals applied to
the piezoelectric elements by giving a delay time. The ultrasound is focused or the ultrasound is
deflected and scanned.
[0006]
Since the ultrasonic beam can be made thinner by focusing the ultrasonic waves, the resolution is
significantly improved, and the current ultrasonic diagnostic apparatus has this function to say
the least.
In order to focus and deflect the ultrasonic waves, the signals applied to the piezoelectric element
are individually electrically delayed. However, in the case where this delay time is given, the
piezoelectric element is close to the intended shape. If arranged, the delay times given to the
individual piezoelectric elements are naturally set on the premise that they are arranged in the
target shape.
[0007]
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However, if the array shape of the piezoelectric element is deviated from the intended shape, the
delay time is also deviated to cause a large error, and as a result, the ultrasonic convergence is
deviated from the purpose, so the ultrasonic beam as intended In this case, the side lobes are
increased due to an error in the delay time or the delay time error, which is a major cause of the
resolution degradation of the ultrasonic image.
[0008]
For the above reasons, the arrangement of the piezoelectric elements is important for obtaining a
high-resolution ultrasound image as to how close to the target shape is to be made.
In addition, if an ultrasonic probe is used which is deviated from the target shape, it will naturally
result in a distorted ultrasonic image, and an error will also occur in distance measurement on
the image.
[0009]
As described above, an ultrasonic tomographic image of an object or the like obtained by
connecting an electronic scanning ultrasonic probe which is largely deviated from a desired final
shape to an ultrasonic diagnostic apparatus. When an electric delay time is applied to the signal
transmitted and received from each piezoelectric element 12, the error becomes large and the
wavefront synthesis of the ultrasonic wave can not be accurately performed, so the side lobe of
the ultrasonic beam becomes large, and There is a problem that deterioration may be caused, or
the diagnostic image may be deformed, and an error may be generated when measuring the
shape on the screen.
[0010]
The present invention solves such conventional problems, and high-resolution ultrasonic images
are formed by accurately arranging the piezoelectric elements in a plurality of arrays of final
shapes for the purpose and reducing side lobes. It is an object of the present invention to provide
a method of manufacturing an electronic scanning ultrasonic probe in which
[0011]
A method of manufacturing an ultrasonic probe according to the present invention for achieving
the above object has a surface having a shape which has been corrected in advance by the
amount of change in anticipation of deformation due to processing of the manufacturing process.
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Bonding the piezoelectric element and at least one acoustic matching layer to the surface of the
backing material by using an organic polymer adhesive, and dividing the piezoelectric element
and the acoustic matching layer into a plurality of grooves It comprises the steps of processing
into arrayed elements arranged in a row, and filling and curing the organic polymer adhesive in
the cut grooves.
[0012]
Further, another method of manufacturing an ultrasonic probe according to the present
invention comprises the steps of: sequentially bonding a piezoelectric element and a first acoustic
matching layer to a surface of a backing material using an organic polymer adhesive; And
processing the first acoustic matching layer into a plurality of arrayed elements divided into a
plurality by the notches and processing them into an array of elements, filling the notches with
the organic polymer adhesive, and The second acoustic matching layer coated with an organic
polymer adhesive is laminated on top of it, and a pair of pressure jigs having surfaces with a
shape corrected in advance by the change amount in anticipation of deformation due to
processing in the manufacturing process And curing.
[0013]
The surface shape corrected in advance by the amount of change in the backing material or the
surface shape corrected in advance of the pressing jig can be concave or convex with respect to
the desired final shape.
[0014]
According to the above-described manufacturing method, it is possible to obtain the desired final
shape at the end of all steps, reduce the side lobes of the ultrasonic beam to obtain a high
resolution ultrasonic image, and the distortion of the ultrasonic image Since it disappears, no
error occurs when measuring the shape etc. on the screen.
[0015]
In addition, an epoxy resin, a urethane resin, a cyano system resin, a silicone resin etc. can be
used as an organic polymer adhesive.
[0016]
BEST MODE FOR CARRYING OUT THE INVENTION Hereinafter, embodiments of the present
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invention will be described in detail with reference to the drawings.
(First Embodiment) FIG. 1 shows a cross section of an essential part of an electronic linear
scanning ultrasonic probe according to a first embodiment of the present invention.
In FIG. 1, reference numeral 1 denotes a back load material for holding the piezoelectric element
2 and improving its characteristics, such as epoxy resin or rubber material mixed with tungsten
powder or microballoon, or ferrite rubber Materials such as are used.
[0017]
Reference numeral 2 denotes a piezoelectric element, which performs so-called transmission /
reception of ultrasonic waves that converts an electrical signal to mechanical vibration or reverse
conversion, and is a so-called PZT-based or zirconate titanate-based piezoelectric ceramic or a
PbTiO3-based piezoelectric ceramic It is composed of crystals and an organic polymer
piezoelectric material such as PVDF.
[0018]
Reference numerals 3 and 4 denote a first acoustic matching layer and a second acoustic
matching layer, for efficiently transmitting ultrasonic waves to a subject (not shown) or
efficiently receiving reflected waves from the subject. It is made of a material such as graphite,
glass, ceramic or resin in which metal powder or the like is mixed with organic polymer.
[0019]
Denoted at 5 is a slit for dividing the piezoelectric element 2 into a plurality of arrayed element
groups arranged in a row, and the back load material 1 of the base of the piezoelectric element 2
from the surface of the first acoustic matching layer 3 It has been cut into parts.
[0020]
The reference numeral 6 denotes a target final shape line, in which the cut arrayed piezoelectric
elements 2 are arranged in a straight line on one plane.
[0021]
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Next, the manufacturing method in the first embodiment will be described.
First, the back load material 1 having a surface having a shape corrected in advance by the
amount of change is prepared in anticipation of deformation due to curing shrinkage of the
organic polymer adhesive to be filled and cured in the processing of the manufacturing process,
particularly the slit 5. .
That is, the surface of the backing material 1 is made convex while the target final shape line is
flat.
The piezoelectric element 2 and at least one or more first acoustic matching layers 3 are
sequentially bonded to the convex surface using an organic polymer adhesive.
[0022]
Then, the piezoelectric element 2 and the first acoustic matching layer 3 are divided into a
plurality of parts by the notches 5 and processed into an array of elements arranged in a row.
The groove 5 is filled with an organic polymer adhesive, and here, the second acoustic matching
layer 4 is attached to the first acoustic matching layer 3 with the organic polymer adhesive.
FIG. 1 (a) shows this state.
[0023]
Finally, it is placed in a curing oven and the organic polymer adhesive is heat cured.
After heating and curing, by cooling to room temperature, the organic polymer adhesive shrinks,
and as shown in FIG. 1B, the cut arrayed piezoelectric elements 2 are aligned in a straight line on
one plane. It is formed along the desired final shape line 6.
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[0024]
Although not shown here, a material such as silicone rubber is focused on the second acoustic
matching layer 4 in order to focus the ultrasonic beam in the direction perpendicular to the
piezoelectric element arrangement direction and to improve the resolution. In some cases, an
acoustic lens is provided.
The first and second acoustic matching layers 3 and 4 may be formed by pouring.
[0025]
If the specific example of the deformation by processing is shown, for example, the total length
52 mm of the piezoelectric element 2 is divided into 432, epoxy resin is used as the filler of the
notch 5 and the adhesive of the second acoustic matching layer 4, 70 ° C. When the second
acoustic matching layer 4 is formed by curing at temperature, the second acoustic matching
layer is formed according to the conventional method in which the shape of the piezoelectric
element bonding surface of the backing material 1 is linear (flat surface). The shape on the
surface of the layer 4 was deformed as shown in A of FIG.
This resulted in a curved surface corresponding to a curvature of about 1880 mm, and the
difference between the maximum and the minimum height was about 0.18 mm.
In FIG. 2, the horizontal axis represents the length in the arrangement direction of the
piezoelectric elements 2, and the vertical axis represents the height.
[0026]
As in the first embodiment, when using the back load material 1 having a surface shape
corrected in advance by an amount that changes due to the cure shrinkage of the epoxy resin,
that is, the shape of the surface of the back load material 1 is made convex. In the case of using
the one having a curvature of about 1880 mm, the total length 52 mm of the piezoelectric
element 2 is divided into 432, and an epoxy resin is used as an adhesive for the notch 5 and the
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second acoustic matching layer 4; The surface shape of the second acoustic matching layer 4 was
measured when the second acoustic matching layer 4 was formed, and the result shown in B of
FIG. 2 was obtained. From this result, the difference between the minimum and the maximum
height is 0.025 mm, which is close to the linear shape of the desired final shape, which is about 7
times smaller than that of the conventional method.
[0027]
Comparing the conventional one A in FIG. 2 with the one B in the first embodiment, the
difference in height can be reduced to about one seventh of that in the conventional one, and the
error of the delay time is also extremely small. To provide an ultrasound probe capable of
obtaining an ultrasonic image of high resolution and achieving high-precision measurement on
the image, as it is possible to perform targeted ultrasound focusing and to reduce side lobes. can
do.
[0028]
Second Embodiment FIG. 3 shows a method of manufacturing an electronic linear scanning
ultrasonic probe according to a second embodiment of the present invention.
In FIG. 3, the same parts as in FIG. 1 are denoted by the same reference numerals, and 7, 8 are a
pair of pressure cures holding an ultrasonic probe when curing the organic polymer adhesive. It
is a tool.
[0029]
Here, the plate of the piezoelectric element 2 is bonded to one surface of the backing material 1
having a flat surface by using an adhesive such as epoxy resin, and the first acoustic matching is
performed on the surface of the piezoelectric element 2. The layer 3 is formed by bonding or
pouring. Next, a cutting groove 5 extending from the surface of the first acoustic matching layer
3 to a part of the backing material 1 is made by a dicing machine or the like to divide the
piezoelectric element 2 and the first acoustic matching layer 3 into a plurality.
[0030]
Next, an adhesive such as an epoxy resin is filled in the first groove 5 into which the first acoustic
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matching layer 3 and the piezoelectric element 2 are divided, and the second acoustic matching
layer 4 coated with the adhesive is used as a first acoustic wave. It is placed on the matching
layer 3, held by using the pressure jigs 7 and 8, and placed in a thermostatic bath kept at a
constant temperature in a pressurized state, and heat cured.
[0031]
Here, the pressing jigs 7 and 8 have pressing surfaces having a shape that has been corrected in
advance by the amount of change thereof in anticipation of the deformation of the ultrasonic
probe due to the process of the manufacturing process.
That is, the organic polymer adhesive applied to the second acoustic matching layer 4 hardens in
the grooves 5 and cures when it cools, and the deformation of the element due to shrinkage is
anticipated in advance, and the pressure jig is used. It is set as the shape which correct |
amended 7 and 8 pressing surfaces.
[0032]
For example, as in the case of the first embodiment, the total length 52 mm of the piezoelectric
element 2 is divided into 432, and an epoxy resin is used as the filler of the slit 5 and the
adhesive of the second acoustic matching layer 4 at 70 ° C. When the piezoelectric elements 2
divided into the above 432 pieces are arrayed by returning them to room temperature by curing
them at room temperature, when the shape of the pressing surface of the pressing jig is a flat
surface, that is, a surface shape without providing a curvature, When the arrangement direction
of the piezoelectric elements 2 was measured on the surface of the second acoustic matching
layer 4, it had a shape as shown in A of FIG. In the case of A in FIG. 4, the difference between the
maximum and minimum heights is 0.18 mm, which is a large value, and the state of the surface
at this time is about 1880 mm in terms of curvature.
[0033]
On the other hand, in the case where the pressing surfaces of the pressing jigs 7 and 8 have a
curvature of 1500 mm as in the second embodiment, the second acoustic matching layer 4 is
formed on the surface. As a result of the measurement, the shape is as shown by C in FIG. 4, and
the difference between the maximum and the minimum height was 0.031 mm.
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[0034]
This is about one sixth of that in FIG. 4A, and it can be said that the piezoelectric elements 2 can
be arranged in a substantially linear shape of the final shape desired.
[0035]
Regarding the curvature of the pressing jig 8, the heights of the back load member 1, the
piezoelectric element 2, the first acoustic matching layer 3, and the second acoustic matching
layer 4 are added to the curvature of the pressing jig 7. It is desirable that the curvature be
[0036]
According to the above manufacturing method, the difference in height can be reduced to about
one sixth of that in the conventional method, and the error in delay time can be extremely
reduced. The convergence is also good, the side lobes can be reduced, a high resolution
ultrasonic image can be obtained, and measurement on the image can be performed with high
accuracy.
[0037]
In Embodiments 1 and 2, after the piezoelectric element 2 and the first acoustic matching layer 3
are divided, the notch 5 is filled with an epoxy resin, and the second acoustic matching layer 4 is
made of the same epoxy resin. However, after forming the piezoelectric element 2, the first
acoustic matching layer 3, and the second acoustic matching layer 4, they are divided by the cut
groove, and the organic grooves are formed in the cut groove. The same effect can be obtained
also in the case of manufacturing by filling a molecular adhesive.
[0038]
Although the case where an epoxy resin is used as the organic polymer adhesive has been
described, the same effect can be obtained by using a urethane resin, a cyano resin, a silicone
resin, or the like.
[0039]
Furthermore, although a so-called linear scanning ultrasonic probe in which the piezoelectric
elements 2 are arranged in a line on one plane has been described, various other types such as a
convex scanning type or concave shaped concave scanning type having a convex curvature are
also described. Similar effects can be obtained for the shape.
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[0040]
In the embodiment, the case where two acoustic matching layers are provided has been
described. However, the same effect can be obtained even when one or three or more acoustic
matching layers are used.
[0041]
As described above, according to the present invention, the piezoelectric elements stacked on the
backing material and the array element obtained by dividing the groove into a plurality of
acoustic matching layers in one or more layers are divided. In the formation, the surface shape of
the backing material is corrected in advance in anticipation of deformation due to curing
shrinkage of the organic polymer adhesive for filling the kerf and adhering the second acoustic
matching layer thereon. By correcting the shape of the pressing surface of the pressing jig, it is
possible to obtain the desired final shape at the end of all the steps.
[0042]
Therefore, when an electrical delay is applied to the signal transmitted and received from each
piezoelectric element, the error of the delay time can be made extremely small, so that the wavefield synthesis of ultrasonic waves can be performed accurately and the side lobe can be reduced.
, High resolution ultrasound images can be obtained.
Further, there is no distortion of the ultrasonic image, and the error is small when measuring the
distance on the image, so that it is possible to perform the measurement with high accuracy.
[0043]
Brief description of the drawings
[0044]
1 is a schematic cross-sectional view of an essential part of the ultrasound probe according to the
first embodiment of the present invention.
[0045]
2 is a diagram showing the result of shape measurement in the first embodiment of the present
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invention
[0046]
3 is a diagram showing a method of manufacturing an ultrasonic probe according to Embodiment
2 of the present invention
[0047]
4 is a diagram showing the result of shape measurement in the second embodiment of the
present invention
[0048]
Fig. 5 A schematic cross-sectional view of a conventional ultrasonic probe
[0049]
Explanation of sign
[0050]
REFERENCE SIGNS LIST 1 backing material 2 piezoelectric element 3 first acoustic matching
layer 4 second acoustic matching layer 5 notches 6 final shape line 7, 8 pressing jig
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