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JP2006253958

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DESCRIPTION JP2006253958
PROBLEM TO BE SOLVED: To facilitate the implementation of an array type ultrasonic
transducer having a compact and high-density curved shape. SOLUTION: An ultrasonic
transducer 12 disposed at a tip 2a of an ultrasonic probe 2 is joined to a flexible sheet 25 having
a curved shape. The flexible sheet 25 has a through hole 26 in which a conductive paste 27
electrically connected to the individual electrode 32 a of the ultrasonic transducer 12 is
embedded. The flexible sheet 25 is attached to a bowl-shaped pedestal 11. An element-side
terminal 22a electrically connected to the conductive paste 27 is provided on the surface of the
pedestal 11. Inside the pedestal 11, an array wiring cable connected to the element-side terminal
22a and the ultrasonic observation device A wire 23 connecting with 19 is drawn around.
[Selected figure] Figure 1
ULTRASONIC PROBE, AND METHOD FOR MANUFACTURING ULTRASONIC PROBE
[0001]
The present invention relates to an ultrasonic probe provided with an ultrasonic transducer for
irradiating an ultrasonic wave to a required part of a living body and receiving an echo signal
from the living body, and a method of manufacturing the same.
[0002]
BACKGROUND In recent years, medical diagnosis using ultrasonic images has been put to
practical use in the medical field.
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An ultrasonic image is generated by irradiating an ultrasonic wave to a required part of a living
body from an ultrasonic probe and electrically detecting an echo signal from the living body with
an ultrasonic observation device connected via the ultrasonic probe and a connector. can get. As
a driving method of the ultrasonic probe, an electronic scan scanning method is known in which
a plurality of ultrasonic transducers for transmitting and receiving ultrasonic waves are disposed
and an ultrasonic transducer to be driven is selectively switched by an electronic switch or the
like.
[0003]
An electronic scan type ultrasonic probe includes a convex electronic scanning type in which a
plurality of (for example, 94 to 128) ultrasonic transducers are arranged in a fan shape at the tip
of the probe. In addition, there is a radial electronic scanning system in which a plurality of (for
example, 360) ultrasonic transducers are disposed on the outer periphery of the tip of the probe.
Further, among these systems, they are classified into one-dimensional array type and twodimensional array type according to the arrangement of ultrasonic transducers.
[0004]
As a method of manufacturing a one-dimensional array type ultrasonic transducer, a method of
bonding a piezoelectric element by sandwiching a flexible circuit substrate on a flexible backing
material (see Patent Document 1), a flexible backing material Various methods have been
proposed such as bonding a piezoelectric element on top and bonding a flexible circuit board to
the terminal of an individual electrode formed at the end (see Patent Document 2). JP-A-7327299 JP-A-8-89505
[0005]
In the ultrasonic transducer manufactured by the technique described in Patent Document 1,
interference occurs between the piezoelectric element and the wiring of the flexible circuit board,
and there is a possibility that noise may be included in the signal transmitted through the wiring.
Moreover, in the ultrasonic transducer produced with the technique of patent document 2, the
space for providing a terminal in an edge part was required, and there existed a problem that
enlargement was not avoided. Moreover, the techniques described in these Patent Documents 1
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2
and 2 have the disadvantage that they are not suitable for producing a two-dimensional array
type ultrasonic transducer.
[0006]
The present invention has been made in view of the above problems, and an ultrasonic probe
capable of easily mounting an array-type ultrasonic transducer having a compact and highdensity curved surface shape, and a method of manufacturing the ultrasonic probe. Intended to
be provided.
[0007]
In order to achieve the above object, the invention according to claim 1 is an ultrasonic probe in
which a plurality of ultrasonic transducers are arranged in an array at a tip, wherein the
ultrasonic transducer has a curved shape and is flexible The flexible sheet is characterized in that
a through hole in which a conductive member electrically connected to an individual electrode of
the ultrasonic transducer is embedded is formed in the flexible sheet.
[0008]
The flexible sheet is preferably attached to a pedestal having a curved shape, and the pedestal is
preferably formed in a bowl shape, a concave shape, or a cylindrical shape.
A terminal electrically connected to the conductive member is provided on the surface of the
pedestal, and a wire connecting the terminal and the wiring cable connected to the ultrasonic
observation device is provided inside the pedestal. Is preferably drawn around.
[0009]
Alternatively, in the flexible sheet, a terminal electrically connected to the conductive member is
provided on the surface, and a wire connecting the terminal and the wiring cable connected to
the ultrasonic observation device is routed inside. It is preferable that it is stuck on a flexible
wiring board.
[0010]
The flexible wiring substrate is preferably attached to a pedestal having a curved shape, and the
pedestal is preferably formed in a bowl shape, a concave shape, or a cylindrical shape.
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[0011]
The conductive member is preferably an adhesive applied to the flexible sheet when the
ultrasonic transducer is bonded to the flexible sheet.
Alternatively, the conductive member is preferably a metal pin.
[0012]
The invention according to claim 10 is a method of manufacturing an ultrasonic probe in which a
plurality of ultrasonic transducers are arranged in an array at a tip, the step of forming a through
hole in a flexible sheet, and the ultrasonic transducer Embedding conductive members
electrically connected to the individual electrodes in the through holes, bonding the wafer of the
ultrasonic transducer to the flexible sheet, dicing the wafers into the array, and Forming a curved
surface of the flexible sheet.
[0013]
The flexible sheet is preferably attached to a pedestal having a curved shape, and the pedestal is
preferably formed in a bowl shape, a concave shape, or a cylindrical shape.
Preferably, a terminal electrically connected to the conductive member is provided on the surface
of the pedestal, and a wire connecting the terminal and the wiring cable connected to the
ultrasonic observation device is routed inside the pedestal. .
[0014]
Alternatively, a terminal for electrically connecting the flexible sheet to the conductive member is
provided on the surface, and a wire for connecting the terminal and the wiring cable connected
to the ultrasonic observation device is routed inside. It is preferable to stick on a flexible wiring
board.
[0015]
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The flexible wiring substrate is preferably attached to a pedestal having a curved shape, and the
pedestal is preferably formed in a bowl shape, a concave shape, or a cylindrical shape.
[0016]
As the conductive member, it is preferable to use an adhesive applied to the flexible sheet when
bonding the ultrasonic transducer to the flexible sheet.
Alternatively, it is preferable to use a metal pin as the conductive member.
[0017]
According to the ultrasonic probe of the present invention and the method of manufacturing the
ultrasonic probe, the ultrasonic wave is transmitted to the flexible sheet in which the through
hole is embedded in which the conductive member electrically connected to the individual
electrodes of the ultrasonic transducer is embedded. Since the transducers are joined and the
flexible sheet has a curved shape, an array-type ultrasonic transducer having a compact and
high-density curved shape can be easily mounted.
[0018]
In FIGS. 1 and 2, an ultrasonic transducer array 10 is disposed at the tip 2a of an ultrasonic
probe 2 to which the present invention is applied.
The ultrasonic transducer array 10 employs a so-called convex electronic scanning system in
which a plurality of ultrasonic transducers 12 are arranged in a two-dimensional array on a
pedestal 11 formed in a bowl shape.
[0019]
An imaging device 16 provided with an objective optical system 14 for taking in image light of an
observation site in a living body and a CCD 15 for imaging the image light and outputting an
imaging signal on the upper part of the sheath 13 connected to the tip 2a. And a channel 18 for
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puncture needle through which the puncture needle 17 is inserted.
In the lower part of the sheath 13, an array wiring cable 19 and an imaging device wiring cable
20 for electrically connecting an ultrasonic observation device (not shown), the ultrasonic
transducer array 10 and the imaging device 16 are as follows: It is inserted so as to sandwich the
puncture needle channel 18.
[0020]
The pedestal 11 is placed on the base 21 of the tip 2a.
The pedestal 11 is made of a rigid material such as hard rubber, and an ultrasonic attenuation
material (ferrite, ceramic or the like) is added as necessary.
The pedestal 11 may be concave.
[0021]
The element-side terminals 22 a and the cable-side terminals 22 b are provided on the front
surface and the back surface of the pedestal 11 as many as the number of ultrasonic transducers
12. Further, in the inside of the pedestal 11, a wire 23 connecting the element side terminal 22a
and the cable side terminal 22b is drawn. A conductive paste 27 described later is electrically
connected to the element side terminal 22a. On the other hand, the wiring 24 drawn around the
inside of the base 21 from the array wiring cable 19 is electrically connected to the cable side
terminal 22 b.
[0022]
The ultrasonic transducer array 10 is bonded to a flexible sheet 25, and is attached to the
pedestal 11 via the flexible sheet 25. A through hole 26 is formed in the flexible sheet 25. The
conductive paste 27 applied to the flexible sheet 25 is embedded in the through holes 26 when
the ultrasonic transducer array 10 is bonded to the flexible sheet 25. The pedestal 11 and the
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base 21 are not hatched to avoid complication. Although not shown, a filler made of epoxy resin
is filled in the gap between the ultrasonic transducers 12. Further, reference numeral 28 denotes
a metal thin film as a common electrode 32b (see also FIG. 3) of the ultrasonic transducer 12,
and reference numeral 29 denotes an acoustic matching layer for achieving acoustic impedance
matching with a living body.
[0023]
In FIG. 3, the ultrasonic transducer 12 is composed of a piezoelectric element 30 made of a thin
film of PZT (lead zirconate titanate) and an acoustic matching layer 31 made of epoxy resin in
this order from the flexible sheet 25 side. Is sandwiched between the individual electrode 32a
and the common electrode 32b.
[0024]
The individual electrodes 32a are connected to the transmission / reception switching circuit 33
in the ultrasonic observation device via the conductive paste 27, the element side terminal 22a,
the wiring 23, the cable side terminal 22b, the wiring 24, and the array wiring cable 19 It is
done.
On the other hand, the common electrode 32 b is connected to the ground via the wiring 34. In
practice, the common electrode 32b is made of the metal thin film 28 formed over the entire
surface of the ultrasonic transducers 12 constituting the ultrasonic transducer array 10 as
described above.
[0025]
The transmission / reception switching circuit 33 performs transmission / reception switching of
ultrasonic waves by the ultrasonic transducer 12 at predetermined time intervals. The pulse
generation circuit 35 and the voltage measurement circuit 36 are connected to the transmission
/ reception switching circuit 33. The pulse generation circuit 35 applies a pulse voltage to the
piezoelectric element 30 when generating an ultrasonic wave from the ultrasonic transducer 12
(when transmitting an ultrasonic wave). Thereby, the ultrasonic transducer 12 generates an
ultrasonic wave having a predetermined frequency.
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[0026]
The voltage measurement circuit 36 measures a voltage generated in the piezoelectric element
30 when an echo signal from a living body is received by the ultrasonic transducer 12 (at the
time of receiving an ultrasonic wave). The voltage measurement circuit 36 transmits this
measurement result to the controller 37. The controller 37 converts the measurement result
transmitted from the voltage measurement circuit 36 into an ultrasonic image and causes the
monitor 38 to display this.
[0027]
When acquiring an ultrasonic image in the living body, the insertion portion of the ultrasonic
probe 2 is inserted into the living body, and while the optical image acquired by the imaging
device 16 is observed by the endoscope monitor, the in-vivo The required part is searched. Then,
when the distal end 2a reaches a required part in the living body and an instruction to acquire an
ultrasonic image is given, the transmission / reception switching circuit 33 switches the
transmission / reception of the ultrasonic wave of the ultrasonic transducer 12 while the pulse
generation circuit 35 By the application of the pulse voltage, an ultrasonic wave is emitted from
the ultrasonic transducer 12 and the ultrasonic wave is scanned on the living body.
[0028]
An echo signal from a living body is received by the ultrasonic transducer 12, and a voltage
measurement circuit 36 measures a voltage generated in the piezoelectric element 30. The
measurement result of the voltage measurement circuit 36 is transmitted to the controller 37
and converted into an ultrasonic image by the controller 37. The converted ultrasound image is
displayed on the monitor 38. In addition, while observing an optical image or an ultrasonic
image, the puncture needle 17 is operated as needed, and a required part in the living body is
collected.
[0029]
Next, the procedure for producing the ultrasonic probe 2 having the above configuration will be
described with reference to FIG. First, as shown in (A), through holes 26 are formed at
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predetermined positions of the flexible sheet 25 by laser, punching, drill or the like. Next, as
shown in (B), the conductive paste 27 is screen printed on the flexible sheet 25 using a squeegee.
Thereby, the conductive paste 27 is embedded in the through hole 26.
[0030]
After screen printing of the conductive paste 27 on the flexible sheet 25, as shown in (C), the
wafer 40 of the ultrasonic transducer (the piezoelectric element 30, the acoustic matching layer
31, and the individual electrodes 32a shown in FIG. It comprises an electrode 32b. ) Is bonded to
the flexible sheet 25 by the conductive paste 27. Subsequently, as shown in (D), the wafer 40 is
diced into a two-dimensional array, and the conductive paste 27 is separated for each ultrasonic
transducer 12 to insulate the ultrasonic transducers 12 from each other. Thus, the ultrasonic
transducer array 10 is formed on the flexible sheet 25.
[0031]
Thereafter, the flexible sheet 25 is curved according to the curved surface shape of the pedestal
11 and attached to the pedestal 11. Thus, the conductive paste 27 is electrically connected to the
element-side terminal 22 a provided on the surface of the pedestal 11. Then, after filling the
space between the ultrasonic transducers 12 with a filler, the metal thin film 28 as the common
electrode 32 b is attached to the surface of each ultrasonic transducer 12. Finally, the acoustic
matching layer 29 is mounted on the ultrasonic transducer array 10 to complete the ultrasonic
probe 2.
[0032]
As described above in detail, the ultrasonic transducer 12 is joined to the flexible sheet 25 having
the through holes 26 in which the conductive paste 27 electrically connected to the individual
electrodes 32 a of the ultrasonic transducer 12 is embedded, Since the flexible sheet 12 has a
curved shape, a two-dimensional array ultrasonic transducer 12 having a compact and highdensity curved shape can be easily mounted.
[0033]
Further, the element-side terminal 22a electrically connected to the conductive paste 27 is
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provided on the surface of the pedestal 11, and the wiring 23 connecting the element-side
terminal 22a and the array wiring cable 19 is drawn around in the pedestal 11. There is no
possibility that noise will be introduced to the signal transmitted through the wiring 23.
Therefore, the receiving sensitivity of the ultrasonic wave becomes good, and a high quality
ultrasonic image can be obtained.
[0034]
In the above embodiment, an example in which the conductive paste 27 is used as the conductive
member has been described. However, as in the case of the ultrasonic probe 50 shown in FIG.
Good. Here, in FIG. 5, the pedestal 11 and the base 21 are not hatched as in FIG. 1.
[0035]
In the above case, the procedure for producing the ultrasonic probe 2 is as shown in FIG. That is,
first, as shown in (A), after penetrating holes 26 are formed at predetermined positions of the
flexible sheet 25 as in the above embodiment, as shown in (B), the pins 51 are formed in the
through holes 26. Embed Next, as shown in (C), the conductive paste 27 is screen printed on the
flexible sheet 25 in the same manner as in the above embodiment, and as shown in (D), the wafer
40 of the ultrasonic transducer is flexible. Bond to 25. Subsequently, as shown in (E), the wafer
40 is diced into a two-dimensional array, and the conductive paste 27 is separated for each
ultrasonic transducer 12 to insulate the ultrasonic transducers 12 from each other. When using a
commercially available anisotropic conductive sheet in which metal pins are embedded in
advance, the steps (A) and (B) are omitted. In this case, after bonding the wafer 40 of the
ultrasonic transducer to the flexible sheet 25 in (D) and then bonding it to the pedestal 11, the
wafer 40 is diced into a two-dimensional array. At this time, the anisotropic conductive sheet is
completely divided for each ultrasonic transducer 12 to insulate the ultrasonic transducers 12
from each other.
[0036]
Further, instead of providing the element side terminals 22a and the wiring 23 on the pedestal
11, a flexible wiring substrate 60 shown in FIG. 7 may be used. A terminal 61 electrically
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connected to the conductive paste 27 (or the pin 51) is provided on the surface of the flexible
wiring substrate 60, and a wire 62 connecting the terminal 61 and the array wiring cable 19 is
drawn inside. ing. In this case, when producing the ultrasonic probe, the flexible sheet 25 on
which the ultrasonic transducer array 10 is formed is attached to the flexible wiring substrate 60,
and the flexible wiring substrate 60 is attached to the pedestal. wear. Note that a plurality of
flexible wiring substrates may be stacked to form a stacked structure. Here, in FIG. 7, the flexible
wiring substrate 60 is not hatched for the same reason as the pedestal 11 and the base 21 of
FIGS. 1 and 5.
[0037]
In the above embodiment, the ultrasonic transducer array 10 of the convex electronic scanning
system has been exemplified and described, but as shown in FIG. 8, the ultrasonic transducer 12
is mounted on the cylindrical pedestal 71 via the flexible sheet 25. The present invention is also
applicable to the so-called radial electronic scanning ultrasonic probe 70 attached.
[0038]
In addition to the ultrasonic transducer array 10 described in the above-described embodiment,
the present invention may be an actuator for driving a focus lens or a zoom lens of a camera, or
any other vibration such as a vibrating gyro used for an angular velocity sensor It is also possible
to apply to child arrays.
[0039]
It is an expanded sectional view showing composition of a tip of an ultrasonic probe to which the
present invention is applied.
It is a top view which shows the structure of the front-end | tip of an ultrasonic probe.
It is an expanded sectional view showing composition of an ultrasonic transducer. It is a figure
which shows the preparation procedures of an ultrasonic probe, (A) is a process of making a
through hole, (B) is a process of applying a conductive paste, and (C) is joining a wafer of an
ultrasonic transducer. Step (D) shows the step of dicing the wafer of the ultrasonic transducer. It
is an expanded sectional view showing the composition of the tip of the ultrasonic probe which
used the pin made of metal as a conductive member. It is a figure which shows the preparation
procedures of the ultrasonic probe which used the metal pins as a conductive member, (A) is a
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process of drilling a through hole, (B) is a process of embedding a pin in a through hole, C) shows
a process of applying a conductive paste, (D) shows a process of bonding a wafer of an ultrasonic
transducer, and (E) shows a process of dicing a wafer of an ultrasonic transducer. It is sectional
drawing which shows the example which used the flexible wiring board. It is sectional drawing
which shows the example applied to the ultrasonic probe of a radial electronic scanning system.
Explanation of sign
[0040]
2, 50, 70 ultrasonic probe 10 ultrasonic transducer array 11, 71 pedestal 12 ultrasonic
transducer 19 wiring cable for array 22a, 22b element side terminal, cable side terminal 23
wiring 25 flexible sheet 26 through hole 27 conductive paste 30 Piezoelectric elements 32a, 32b
Individual electrodes, common electrode 37 Controller 40 Wafer 51 pin 60 flexible wiring board
61 terminal 62 wiring
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