Airborne cmut cell design
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All transducers used in airborne ultrasonic applications, including capacitive micromachined ultrasonic transducers (CMUTs), incorporate loss mechanisms to have reasonably wide frequency bandwidth. However, CMUTs can yield high efficiency in airborne applications and unlike other technologies, they offer wider bandwidth due to their low characteristic impedance, even for efficient designs. Despite these advantages, achieving the full potential is challenging due to the lack of a systematic method to design a wide bandwidth CMUTs. In this thesis, we present a method for airborne CMUT design. We use a lumped element circuit model and harmonic balance (HB) approach to optimize CMUTs for maximum transmitted power. Airborne CMUTs have narrowband characteristic at their mechanical part, due to low radiation impedance. In this work, we restrict the analysis to a single frequency and the transducer is driven by a sinusoidal voltage with half of the frequency of operation frequency, without any dc bias. We propose a new mode of airborne operation for CMUTs, where the plate motion spans the entire gap. We achieve this maximum swing at a specific frequency applying the lowest drive voltage and we call this mode of operation as Minimum Voltage Drive Mode (MVDM). We present equivalent circuit-based design fundamentals for airborne CMUT cells and verify the design targets by fabricated CMUTs. The performance limits for silicon membranes for airborne applications are derived. We experimentally obtain 78.9 dB//20Pa@1m source level at 73.7 kHz, with a CMUT cell of radius 2.05 mm driven by 71 V sinusoidal drive voltage at half the frequency. The measured quality factor is 120. CMUTs can achieve a large bandwidth (low quality factor level) as they can be manufactured to have thin plates. Low-quality-factor airborne CMUTs experience increased ambient pressure and therefore a larger membrane deflection. This effect increases the stiffness of the plate material and can be considered by nonlinear compliance in the circuit model. We study the interaction of the compliance nonlinearity and nonlinearity of transduction force and show that transduction overwhelms the compliance nonlinearity. To match the simulation results with the admittance measurements we implement a very accurate model-based characterization approach where we modify the equivalent circuit model. In the modified circuit model, we introduced new elements to include loss mechanisms. Also, we changed the dimension parameters used in the simulation to compensate the difference in the resonance frequency and amplitude.
KeywordsAirborne Capacitive Micromachined Ultrasonic Transducers
Lumped Element Model
Equivalent Circuit Model