Electrically unbiased and half frequency driven waterborne 16×16-element 2-D phased array CMUT
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Capacitive micromachined ultrasonic transducers (CMUT) are typically used as arrays consisting of separate cells or interconnected sub arrays, and these cells have several operation modes. Design procedure and measurements have been previously presented for an airborne CMUT cell without a DC bias. In unbiased mode, the plate motion spans the entire gap without collapsing. The frequency of sinusoidal electrical input signal is half of the resulting acoustical output signal. A large plate swing can be obtained at low excitation voltages using the entire remaining gap. In this work, a design procedure of arrays with unbiased operation mode is derived. Designs are validated by means of simulations and measurements on fabricated CMUTs. The problems associated with beamforming are resolved. Use of this operation mode in an array configuration enables larger acoustical power output. A better transmitted signal waveform definition is obtained when pulse width modulation (PWM) is employed. In the design process of CMUTs, large-signal equivalent circuit model is used. In order to have volumetric transmission, a 16×16 (256 elements) phased array configuration is chosen. A design procedure is presented considering the radiation pattern, Rayleigh distance and the parameters of the lumped-element model. This procedure is applied for designing two arrays, with resonance frequencies at 7.5 MHz and at 18.5 MHz. Harmonic balance and transient analyses are carried out with Gaussian enveloped tone burst, transient sinusoidal and PWM signals with different duty cycles. Outputs of these simulations are fed in beamforming toolboxes for further verification. Corresponding experimental measurements are conducted on an ultrasound measurement system. The dimensions of the CMUT elements in the array are determined as 80 μm element radius, 15 μm plate thickness, and 171 nm effective gap height at 7.5 MHz, where the center-to-center inter-element pitch is set at 192 μm. The array is designed such that it has maximum Rayleigh distance of 45.3 mm, while having a maximum sidelobe level of −17.4 dB. According to these specifications, CMUT array is manufactured using wafer scale batch compatible production. Only two lithography masks, which require conventional photolithography steps, are used in production. The vibrating plate is constructed with anodic wafer bonding and the fabricated CMUT array chip is integrated to PCB with flip-chip bonding. Measurements are conducted for this novel device by integrating the CMUT array chip manufactured with MEMS techniques and conventional macro scale manufactured PCB by using impedance analyser.
KeywordsCapacitive micromachined ultrasonic transducers
Half frequency driven
Mutual radiation impedance
Large signal equivalent circuit model