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JP2004266596

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DESCRIPTION JP2004266596
The present invention provides an ultrasonic apparatus capable of arbitrarily changing the
position where an ultrasonic wave of high energy density can be obtained. An ultrasonic
apparatus (1) has a guide (11) having a constant wall thickness and having a substantially frustoconical shape with an open top and bottom communicating with each other and a cross section
opened toward the bottom of the guide (11). The base 12 has a substantially U-shaped
hemispherical shape and is disposed so that the outer surface is in contact with the inner surface
of the guide 11, and is disposed in a mosaic shape on the transducer surface 12a which is the
inner surface of the base 12. A plurality of flat vibrators 13 are provided. [Selected figure] Figure
1
Ultrasound equipment
BACKGROUND OF THE INVENTION 1. Field of the Invention The present invention relates to an
ultrasonic apparatus for transmitting and receiving ultrasonic waves, and more particularly to an
ultrasonic apparatus capable of efficiently transmitting energy. Conventionally, in an ultrasonic
apparatus that transmits and receives ultrasonic waves, in order to increase the energy density of
ultrasonic waves to be transmitted, the ultrasonic transducer surface that emits ultrasonic waves
is directed in the direction of ultrasonic wave radiation. On the other hand, a concavely curved
structure is used. FIG. 6 shows an example of a conventional ultrasonic apparatus. The ultrasonic
apparatus 60 includes a vibrator 61 having a substantially U-shaped hemispherical cross section
recessed with respect to the radiation direction of ultrasonic waves, a pair of lead wires 62
having one end connected to the vibrator, and the leads. It comprises an input / output terminal
63, 64 to which the other end of the line 62 is connected. Here, the vibrator 61 has a structure in
which both sides of the piezoelectric plate 61a are sandwiched by the metal electrodes 61b. In
such an ultrasonic device 60, when an AC voltage is applied between the input and output
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terminals 63 and 64, the vibrator 61 repeatedly vibrates in extension and contraction in the
thickness direction and Generate sound waves. At this time, since the ultrasonic transducer
surface 61d has a concavely curved structure, the emitted ultrasonic waves are focused at
substantially one point. Therefore, at a position (focus position) where the ultrasonic waves are
focused, ultrasonic waves with high energy density can be obtained. FIG. 7 shows another
example of a conventional ultrasonic apparatus. The ultrasonic apparatus 70 has a hemispherical
base 71 having a substantially U-shaped hemispherical cross section recessed with respect to the
radiation direction of the ultrasonic wave and a base surface 71 a which is an inner surface of
the base 71 in a mosaic manner. A plurality of planar vibrators 72 are provided. Electric power is
supplied to each vibrator 72 by a thin film wiring or the like (not shown) formed on the base
surface 71a. In the ultrasonic device 70, although each of the transducers 72 is a flat surface, the
transducer 72 as a whole is disposed on the concave base surface 71a. A transducer group
having a concave ultrasonic transducer surface equivalent to 61 d is configured. When an
alternating voltage is applied to the group of transducers, that is, all the transducers 72, each
transducer 72 vibrates repeatedly in the thickness direction, and the surface on the opposite side
to the surface in contact with the base 71 (vibration Ultrasonic waves are emitted from the child
face in the direction perpendicular to this face. As described above, since the transducer group
has a concavely curved structure, the perpendiculars to the transducer surface of each
transducer 72 intersect at substantially one point.
Therefore, the ultrasonic waves emitted from the respective transducers 72 are focused at
substantially one point. A high energy density can be obtained at the focal point where the
ultrasonic waves are focused. The applicant did not find by the time of filing the prior art
documents related to the present invention other than the prior art documents specified by the
prior art document information described in the present specification. . [Non-Patent Document 1]
Junichi Sumiyoshi, supervised by others, “Ultrasonic Technology Handbook (New Edition),”
Nikkan Kogyo Shimbun, p. 839-844, 1882-1884 [Non-patent document 2] Shimakawa Masanori,
"Ultrasonic engineering-theory and practice-", Industrial Research Association, p. 57, 68-69, 523524 However, in the conventional ultrasonic device, the radius of curvature of the concave shape
of the ultrasonic transducer surface or transducer group is fixed. Therefore, the focal position at
which high energy density can be obtained is limited to one place. That is, there is a problem that
high energy density ultrasound can be obtained only at fixed focal positions separated by a
“certain distance” from the ultrasonic transducer surface. The present invention has been
made to solve the problems as described above, and it is an object of the present invention to
provide an ultrasonic apparatus capable of arbitrarily changing the position at which high energy
density ultrasonic waves can be obtained. SUMMARY OF THE INVENTION In order to solve the
problems as described above, an ultrasonic device according to the present invention comprises a
flexible plate-like base, and one side of the base. A plurality of transducers arranged and emitting
ultrasonic waves, and a guide having an opening for inserting the base are provided. In the
above-described ultrasonic apparatus, the guide may be formed in a tubular shape whose inner
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diameter changes along the axial direction, and the base may be disposed slidably on the inner
surface of the guide. In addition, in the above-described ultrasonic apparatus, the base may be
fitted to the guide so that one surface forms a concave surface. Further, in the above-described
ultrasonic apparatus, an arm may be provided extending radially from the center, and the
vibrator may be disposed on the arm. Further, in the above ultrasonic apparatus, the ultrasonic
device further includes a mandrel having one end fixed to the other surface of the base and a
side surface having a thread formed thereon, and the guide has a screwing portion screwed to a
thread of the shaft. May be BEST MODE FOR CARRYING OUT THE INVENTION Embodiments of
the ultrasonic apparatus according to the present invention will be described in detail below with
reference to the drawings.
FIG. 1 is a schematic view showing the configuration of the ultrasonic apparatus according to the
present embodiment. The ultrasonic apparatus 1 according to the present embodiment includes a
guide 11 whose inner diameter changes along the axial direction, a flexible base 12 fitted inside
the guide 11, and an inner side of the base 12. It comprises a plurality of planar vibrators 13
disposed in a mosaic manner on the base surface 12a which is a surface. The guide 11 is made of
a material that is more rigid than the base 12, and the upper surface and the lower surface
communicate with each other and open, and has a substantially frusto-conical inner surface
shape. The base 12 is made of, for example, a flexible material such as resin or metal, and can
move the inside of the guide 11 in the central axis direction of the guide 11 (the direction of the
arrow in FIG. 1), that is, the radiation direction of ultrasonic waves. As described above, the
surface opposite to the base surface 12 a of the base 12 is brought into sliding contact with the
inner surface of the guide 11 so as to be fitted inside the guide 11. When the base 12 is fitted
into the guide 11, the base 12 is bent by the external pressure received from the guide 11 to
form a concave surface in which the base surface 12 a side is recessed. When the base 12 moves
inside the guide 11, the inner diameter of the guide 11 changes according to the movement
position, so the external pressure received from the guide 11 changes. Since the base 12 has
flexibility, the degree of deflection of the concave surface, that is, the radius of curvature of the
concave surface changes as the external pressure received from the guide 11 changes. Therefore,
the radius of curvature of the concave surface of the base 12 changes depending on the position
inside the guide 11. The vibrator 13 is formed of a known ultrasonic vibrator in which a
piezoelectric plate is sandwiched between metal plates. Such a vibrator 13 is connected to a thin
film wiring or the like (not shown) formed on the base surface 12a, and receives supply of power
from the outside through the thin film wiring. Next, the operation of the ultrasonic apparatus 1
according to the present embodiment will be described. When an AC voltage is applied to each of
the vibrators 13, each vibrator 13 vibrates repeatedly in the thickness direction, and the surface
on the side opposite to the surface of the base 12 in contact with the base surface 12a (
Ultrasonic waves are emitted from the transducer surface in a direction perpendicular to this
surface. The ultrasonic waves emitted from the respective transducers 13 are focused to
substantially one point because the base surface 12a side of the base 12 has a concave shape.
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Therefore, at the focal position where the ultrasonic waves are focused, high energy density
ultrasonic waves can be obtained. Here, it is assumed that the base 12 is slightly moved in the
direction of a shown in FIG. 1 inside the guide 11.
Then, the inner diameter of the guide 11 decreases, so the external pressure applied from the
guide 11 to the base 12 increases, and the radius of curvature of the concave shape of the base
12 decreases. When the radius of curvature of the concave shape of the base 12 decreases, the
vibrator 13 disposed on the base surface 12 a of the base 12 is inclined, that is, the central axis
of the guide 11 and the extension line of the ultrasonic radiation direction of each vibrator 13
The acute angle formed by becomes large. For this reason, the focal position of the ultrasonic
wave emitted from the ultrasonic apparatus 1 approaches the base 12 side before moving the
base 12. On the other hand, it is assumed that the base 12 is slightly moved in the direction
opposite to the direction of a shown in FIG. Then, the inner diameter of the guide 11 increases, so
the external pressure applied from the guide 11 to the base 12 decreases, and the radius of
curvature of the concave shape of the base 12 increases. When the radius of curvature of the
concave shape of the base 12 becomes large, the transducer 13 disposed on the surface of the
base 12 is inclined, that is, formed by the central axis of the guide 11 and the extension line of
the ultrasonic wave of each transducer 13 in the radiation direction. The acute angle is reduced.
For this reason, the focal position of the ultrasonic wave emitted from the ultrasonic apparatus 1
is farther from the base 12 side than before moving the base 12. FIG. 2 is a graph schematically
showing the relationship between the amount of movement of the base 12 in the a direction
inside the guide 11 and the distance from the base 12 to the focal position at which high energy
density ultrasonic waves can be obtained. is there. As described above, when the position of the
base 12 is moved in the direction a (the amount of movement in the direction a: large), the radius
of curvature of the concave shape of the base 12 decreases, so that the focal position from the
base 12 The distance can be shortened. In addition, when the position of the base 12 is moved in
the direction opposite to the a direction (the amount of movement in the a direction: small), the
radius of curvature of the concave shape of the base 12 becomes large, so the distance from the
base 12 to the focal position is It can be long. Thus, according to the present embodiment, the
position of the base 12 in the guide 11 is changed to change the external pressure applied to the
base 12, thereby reversibly and arbitrarily changing the focal position at which the ultrasonic
waves are focused. be able to. The method of moving the base 12 can be set freely as
appropriate, either manually or automatically. In the present embodiment, the shape of the base
12 is not limited to the shape of a hemisphere having a substantially U-shaped cross section, for
example, a plurality of vibrators 13 arranged on the surface, such as a shape combined by a
plane. So that the radiation angle of the ultrasonic waves can be changed in order to focus the
ultrasonic waves emitted from the body at a certain position in the traveling direction and to
change the focal point position reversibly and arbitrarily It can be set freely.
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Next, an ultrasonic apparatus according to another embodiment of the present invention will be
described with reference to FIGS. 3 is a perspective view of the ultrasonic apparatus, FIG. 4 is a
plan view of the ultrasonic apparatus, FIG. 5 (a) is a sectional view of the ultrasonic apparatus,
and FIG. It is a sectional view of a sound wave device. The ultrasonic apparatus 20 has a mandrel
21 having a cylindrical shape, an inner diameter that changes along the axial direction, a guide
22 screwed to the mandrel 21, and a cross shape in plan view, and the central portion 23a is a
mandrel An arm 23b fixed to one end of the arm 21 and extending radially from the central
portion 23a is composed of a base 23 in pressure contact with the guide 22 and a vibrator 24
disposed on each arm 23b of the base 23. The mandrel 21 has a cylindrical shape having an axis
21 a indicated by a dashed dotted line in FIG. 5, and a thread for screwing with the screwing
portion 22 b of the guide 22 is cut on the outer periphery. The guide 22 is made of a material
that is more rigid than the base 23, and extends from the end on the upper surface side of the
base 22a having a substantially frusto-conical inner surface shape with the upper surface and the
lower surface opened. And a cylindrical screwing portion 22b. A screw thread is formed inside
the screwing portion 22 b, and when the screw thread is screwed with a screw thread formed on
the outer periphery of the mandrel 21, the guide 22 is screwed to the mandrel 21. At this time,
the central axis of the guide 22 substantially coincides with the axis 21 a of the mandrel 21. The
edge 22 c on the inner surface or the bottom surface side of the base 22 a abuts or presses
against each arm 23 b of the base 23. The base 23 is made of, for example, a flexible material
such as resin or metal, and includes a central portion 23a and a rectangular arm 23b radially
extending from the center of the central portion 23a. Although four arms 23b are formed in the
present embodiment, the number of arms 23b is not limited to four as long as the arms 23b
extend radially from the center of the central portion 23a, and may be freely freely. It can be set.
The central portion 23 a is fixed to the end 21 b of the stem 21 on the side close to the edge 22 c
of the guide 22. Such a base 23 is fitted inside the guide 22 by bringing the opposite surface
(back surface) of the base surface 23 c of the arm 23 b into sliding contact with the edge 22 c on
the inner surface or bottom surface side of the guide 22. The vibrator 24 is composed of a
known ultrasonic vibrator in which a piezoelectric plate is sandwiched between metal plates, and
is disposed on the base surface 23 c of the arm 23 b of the base 23.
Such a vibrator 24 is connected to a lead wire (not shown) or the like, and receives supply of
power from the outside through the lead wire. Next, the operation of the ultrasonic apparatus 20
will be described. When an AC voltage is applied to each of the vibrators 24, each vibrator 24
vibrates repeatedly in the thickness direction, and the surface on the opposite side to the surface
in contact with the base 23 (vibrator surface) Emits ultrasonic waves in a direction perpendicular
to this plane. Usually, as shown in FIG. 5A, in the ultrasonic device 20, the end 21b of the
mandrel 21 and the edge 22c of the guide 22 are on the same plane, and the arm 23b of the
base 23 is the mandrel 21. The base 23 is disposed in a state of being spread in a plane,
perpendicular to the axis of the sensor. Therefore, the ultrasonic waves emitted from the
transducers 24 propagate parallel to the axis of the mandrel 21 without focusing. On the other
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hand, when the mandrel 23 is rotated in a predetermined direction (positive direction) as shown
in FIG. 5B with the base 23 fixed, the mandrel 21 and the screwed portion 22 b of the guide 22
are formed. The screw thread acts to move the mandrel 21 in the direction a in FIG. 3, ie, in the
direction in which the end 21b of the mandrel 21 moves away from the edge 22c of the guide
22. Then, since the edge 22c of the guide 22 presses the back surface of the arm 23b of the base
23, the arm 23b is inclined toward the base surface 23c of the arm 23b, that is, toward the axis
21a of the mandrel 21. Since the transducers 24 are also inclined toward the axis 21 a of the
mandrel 21 in accordance with this, the ultrasonic waves emitted from the transducers 24 are
focused at a predetermined position. Here, when the mandrel 21 is further rotated in the forward
direction, the external pressure applied to the base 23 is further increased, and the arm 23 b of
the base 23 is further inclined toward the axis 21 a of the mandrel 21. Therefore, the focal
position of the ultrasonic wave emitted from each transducer 24 approaches the end 21 b of the
mandrel 21. On the other hand, when the mandrel 21s is rotated in the reverse direction, the
external pressure applied to the base 23 decreases, so the arms 23b of the base 23 tilt in the
perpendicular direction with respect to the axis 21a of the mandrel 21; Will return to the normal
state. Therefore, the focal position of the ultrasonic wave emitted from each transducer 24 is
moved away from the end 21 b of the mandrel 21. As described above, according to the present
embodiment, ultrasonic waves are focused by rotating the mandrel 21 to change the external
pressure applied from the guide 22 to the base 23 and changing the inclination of the transducer
24. The focus position can be reversibly and arbitrarily changed.
Further, by providing the mandrel 21, the external pressure applied from the guide 22 to the
base 23 can be finely adjusted, so that the focal position at which the ultrasonic waves converge
can also be finely adjusted. Next, useful applications of the ultrasonic apparatus according to the
present embodiment will be described. For example, it is assumed that although the direction
from the transmission side ultrasonic device to the reception side ultrasonic device is known, the
distance to the reception side ultrasonic device is unknown or not constant. In such a case, the
ultrasonic apparatus according to the present embodiment is used as an ultrasonic apparatus on
the transmission side, and while transmitting ultrasonic waves toward the ultrasonic apparatus
on the reception side, a focal position at which the energy density of the ultrasonic waves
increases. Change little by little. Then, when the focal position substantially matches the distance
to the receiving ultrasonic device, the energy density (sound pressure) of the ultrasonic wave
received by the receiving ultrasonic device becomes maximum, and the energy density at this
time becomes the receiving side. If it exceeds the threshold value at which it can be judged that
the ultrasonic device of the present invention has received the ultrasonic waves, it means that the
ultrasonic waves can be transmitted from the transmitting ultrasonic device to the receiving
ultrasonic device. Thus, the ultrasonic apparatus according to the present embodiment is very
effective when the distance to the object is unknown or not constant. Next, a description will be
given of the case where the transmission of ultrasonic waves as described above is not completed
in a short time, but the continuous transmission of ultrasonic waves over a long time is required.
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In this case, first, the ultrasonic apparatus on the transmission side transmits the ultrasonic
waves toward the ultrasonic apparatus on the reception side while the energy density of the
ultrasonic waves is high, as in the case where the ultrasonic wave transmission described above
is short. The focus position is gradually changed. The ultrasonic apparatus on the receiving side
transmits a predetermined signal to the ultrasonic apparatus on the transmitting side when the
energy density of the ultrasonic waves received from the ultrasonic apparatus on the
transmitting side exceeds a threshold. When the transmission side ultrasonic apparatus receives
a predetermined signal from the reception side ultrasonic apparatus, the transmission side
ultrasonic apparatus fixes the focal position at the focal position when the predetermined signal
is received, and continues transmitting ultrasonic waves at this focal position. By doing this, the
ultrasonic device according to the present embodiment can transmit ultrasonic waves
continuously for a long time. In addition, ultrasonic waves are continuously or intermittently
transmitted continuously while intermittently sweeping the focus position of the transmissionside ultrasonic device about several cycles reversibly in the order of far → near → far → near,
and a predetermined signal is received. The focal position may be fixed at an intermediate
position of. Even in this case, the ultrasonic apparatus according to the present embodiment can
transmit ultrasonic waves more efficiently.
Further, the intensity of the predetermined signal transmitted by the receiving ultrasonic device
is set to be proportional to the energy density of the ultrasonic wave received by the receiving
ultrasonic device, and the position where the intensity of the predetermined signal is maximized
The focal point position of the transmission side ultrasonic apparatus may be fixed to. Even in
this case, the ultrasonic device according to the present embodiment can efficiently transmit
ultrasonic waves. It is needless to say that the above-mentioned use example can be applied to
the embodiment described with reference to FIG. Also, in any of the above-described
embodiments, a horn (resonator) or the like for adjusting the directivity of the ultrasonic wave
may be disposed on the side of the transducer surface of the transducer of the ultrasonic device.
Good. Further, the ultrasonic apparatus of the present invention is not limited to the case of
transmitting ultrasonic waves, and can be applied to the case of receiving ultrasonic waves. In
this case, the ultrasonic device according to the present invention changes the position of the
base inside the guide to tilt the transducer so that the transducer surface of the transducer is
positioned perpendicularly to the traveling direction of the received ultrasound. By changing V, it
is possible to effectively receive ultrasonic waves. The ultrasonic device of the present invention
is not limited to a three-dimensional (three-dimensional) structure having at least three or more
transducers, and may have a two-dimensional structure. For example, the transducers may be
arranged in an arc shape to provide a two-dimensional structure in which the ultrasonic waves
focus at a certain position in the traveling direction. In this case, two or more vibrators are
provided. As described above, according to the present invention, when the base is moved in the
direction of the central axis of the guide, the inner diameter of the guide changes according to
the movement position of the base, and along with the change in the inner diameter. The external
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pressure that the base receives from the guide also changes, and the change in the external
pressure changes the degree of deflection of the base, changes the tilt of the transducer, and
changes the position at which the ultrasonic waves emitted from the transducer are focused. The
position at which the density ultrasound is obtained can be reversibly and arbitrarily changed.
BRIEF DESCRIPTION OF THE DRAWINGS FIG. 1 is a schematic view showing the configuration of
an ultrasonic apparatus. FIG. 2 is a graph schematically showing the relationship between the
amount of movement of the base 12 in the a direction in the guide 11 and the distance from the
base 12 to the focal position at which high-energy density ultrasonic waves are obtained. FIG. 3
is a perspective view of an ultrasound apparatus. FIG. 4 is a plan view of the ultrasound
apparatus. 5A is a cross-sectional view of the ultrasonic device, and FIG. 5B is a cross-sectional
view of the ultrasonic device when the mandrel 21 is rotated.
FIG. 6 is a schematic view showing the structure of a conventional ultrasonic apparatus. FIG. 7 is
a schematic view showing the structure of a conventional ultrasonic apparatus. [Description of
the code] 1 ... ultrasonic device, 11 ... guide, 12 ... base, 12a ... base surface, 13 ... vibrator, 20 ...
ultrasonic device, 21 ... mandrel, 21a ... axis, 21b ... end, 22 ... Guide, 22a: base, 22b: connection
portion, 22c: edge portion, 23: base, 23a: central portion, 23b: arm, 23c: base surface, 24:
vibrator.
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