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PIEAS

Table of Contents

List of figures

List of Tables

CHAPTER 2
Overview of Ultrasonics and Ultrasonic
Transducers

2.1. Ultrasonics
Ultrasonics is the name given to the study and application of sound waves having
frequencies higher than the human audible range (i.e. > 20 kHz, though this frequency
actually varies with age). The history of ultrasonic technology is not very old but the
phenomenon itself was there in nature. Certain animals have used ultrasound to probe
places where light is unavailable over a time scale of millions of years: echo locating
bats and intelligent forms of underwater life (e.g., whales and dolphins) are among the
most adept for target identification and range finding. Humans cannot hear ultrasound,
but they used this in ancient times by taming wolves, with their keen ultrasound
hearing, for aiding in the hunt. Today, they are doing this by developing technology to
detect, generate and process ultrasound searching in different media. Ultrasound can be
used to solve the existing problems in diverse areas as engineering, physics, chemistry,
medicine, microscopy, underwater detection, ranging, navigation, etc. Among these, to a

great extent, ultrasonics techniques have already found their existence in extensive
applications in the fields of sonar, biomedicine and non-destructive testing (NDT).
Prior to World War II, sonar, the technique of sending sound waves through water and
observing the returning echoes to characterize submerged objects, inspired early
ultrasound investigators to explore ways to apply the concept to medical diagnosis. In
1929 and 1935, Sokolov studied the use of ultrasonic waves in detecting metal objects
and invented the image tube. Mulhauser, in 1931, obtained a patent for using ultrasonic
waves, using two transducers to detect flaws in solids. Firestone in 1940 and Simons in
1945 developed pulsed ultrasonic testing using a pulse-echo technique. On biomedicine
side, Pohlman investigated the therapeutic uses of ultrasonics in 1939 and from 1948
extensive study of ultrasonic medical imaging started in United States and Japan. In all
of these fields, further developments are continuously in progress with the
advancements towards better piezoelectric materials.
Almost all of the applications are based on two unique features of ultrasonic waves [1]:
1. Ultrasonic waves travel slowly, about 10 5 times slower than electromagnetic
waves. This provides a way to display information in time, create variable delay,
etc.
2. Ultrasonic waves can easily penetrate opaque materials, whereas many other
types of radiation such as visible light cannot. Since ultrasonic wave sources are
inexpensive, sensitive, and reliable, this provides a highly desirable way to probe
and image the interior of opaque objects.
Either or both of these characteristics occur in most ultrasonic applications. This thesis
addresses the major constituent of the field of ultrasonics named piezoelectricity.

2.2. Piezoelectricity
Piezoelectricity is the property of materials possessing the piezoelectric effect. The
direct piezoelectric effect is the production of electrical polarization in a material by the
application of mechanical stress. Such materials are known as piezoelectric materials
and they also display the converse piezoelectric effect of mechanical deformation upon
application of electrical charge. These effects are shown in Fig. (2.1).History of
Pressure

piezoelectricity can be found in literature [2].


Piezoelectric
Material

Piezoelectric
Material

Voltmeter

a) At rest

b) Under Pressure

Piezoelectric
Material

Switch
Open

c) At rest

Voltmeter

Battery

Piezoelectric
Material

Switch
Closed

Battery

d) Voltage Connected

Figure (2.1) (a) & (b) Voltage generated when pressure is applied
(c) & (d) Change in shape when voltage is applied

Therefore, while the overall crystal remains electrically neutral, the difference in charge
centre displacements results in an electric polarization within the crystal. This electric

polarization due to mechanical input is perceived as piezoelectricity. The piezoelectric


and converse piezoelectric processes are illustrated in Fig. (2.1).
The electric and mechanical behaviour of any piezoelectric material can be described in
tensor form [3] by the linear simultaneous equations (the constitutive law in StrainCharge form):
S s E .T d t .E
D d .T T .E

(2.1)

where S is the mechanical strain vector;


D is the electric charge density vector;
T is the mechanical stress vector;
E is the electric field vector;
Relationships between applied forces and the resultant responses depend upon: the
piezoelectric properties of the ceramic; the size and shape of the piece of material; and
the directions of the electrical and mechanical excitation. Piezoelectricity is a linear
effect; reversal of the electric field reverses the mechanical deformation. The
electromechanical effects relating to these electrical and mechanical variables are shown
in Fig. (2.2).

2.3. Piezoelectric Materials


Piezoelectric Ceramics
6

Piezoelectric crystals, ceramics and polymer-ceramic composites are among the


principal detectors and generators of acoustic power. Preceding the advent of
piezoelectric ceramic in the early 1950s, piezoelectric crystals made from quartz
crystals and magnetostrictive materials were primarily used.
1000
Electrical Impedance ( )

Piezoceramic-Polymer Composites

Single Layer
With Matching Layer

100

Piezoelectric ceramics are now sometimes replaced by another type of material


10

comprising the active ceramic and passive polymer, called piezocomposites, for
1

broadband devices for underwater sonar and most of biomedical applications due to
0.1

certain advantages.

10

15

20

Frequency (MHz)

Figure (2.10) Impedance magnitude of transducers with single layer, and with
matching layer for an air-backed transducer

Height

Electrical Impedance ()

1000
Single layer
With Matching Layer
With Matching & backing

100

Ceramic
Pillar
Polymer
Matrix

10

1
Kerf Width

Pillar Width
5

10

15

20

Frequency (MHz)
Figure (2.6)
A schematic
diagrammagnitude
of 1-3
connectivity
piezocomposite
Figure
(2.11) Impedance
of transducers
with single layer with
matching layer and with backing in water

8 kerf width) of the ceramic pillars are the most important


aspect ratio (height to
Single Layer
With Matching
Matching & Backing

Output Pressure (GPa)

parameters from a fabrication and applications point of view.


4
2
0
-2
-4
-6
0

3
Time (S)

Figure (2.12) Comparison of output pressure from transducers with single


layer, with matching layer, and with backing in water- in time domain

backing. Later on, the loading media were chosen to be water on the front face and air at
the back. A set of data comprising electrical impedance and pressure output in time and
frequency domain to study the effect of backing and matching is demonstrated in
Figures (2.10), (2.11), (2.12), and (2.13), respectively.
The Relevant Literature

principles for stacked transducers for

With more novelty, Hossack [10] and

reciprocal

Angelsen et al. [11] have described how

performed this modelling structure with

to use backing and matching layers for

various matching layer combinations.

systems

[16].

He

has

broadband or multiple-frequency band


ultrasonic transducers. Hossack and
Auld proposed active matching layer of
active

material

[12],

Boloforosh

invented a novel integrated matching


layer of a composite material for high
performance [13]. Toda proposed a
matching layer design concept for
narrow band continuous waves [14]. In
the literature, Hunt et al. have discussed
quarter-wave matching layers of the
transducers

for

pulse-echo

medical

imaging [15]. Willatzen has formulated


a complete set of equations for onedimensional

modelling

from

first

a)

40

40

b)

35

35

30

30

25

25
20

20

15

15

10
10

5
100

80

100 100

60
40

60

40

20
0

80

50

20

c)

40

70

60

50

40

30

20

10

80

90

100

d)

35

350

30

300

25

250

20

200

15

150

10

100

5
100

100
80

50

80

100

60
40

60

40

20
0

80

0
0

60
10

20

40
30

40

50

20

60

70

20
80

90

100

e)
18
16
14
12
10
8
6
4
2
0
100
80

100

60
40

40

20
0

60

80

20

Figure (2.23) 3D plots for first five harmonics of the output pressure from
an air-coupled transducer; (a) fundamental, (b) second, (c) third, (d) fourth,
and (e) fifth harmonic

Table 1: Comparison of Various Models on Training and Test Data for all WFs
G.
Model

A.
Model

Code

G.
Model

WF 5

WF 4

WF3

WF2

WF 1

Training Data

A.Mod
el

Code

Test Data

RMS
E
MAE

0.1621

0.1335

0.0869

0.2215

0.1365

0.0966

0.1256

0.1143

0.0575

0.1708

0.1100

0.0643

SDE

0.1621

0.0988

0.0868

0.1860

0.1144

0.0950

RMS
E
MAE

0.1743

0.1048

0.0975

0.1792

0.1206

0.1157

0.1309

0.0797

0.0623

0.1352

0.0879

0.0739

SDE

0.1743

0.1074

0.0957

0.1738

0.1195

0.1152

RMS
E
MAE

0.1672

0.1100

0.1071

0.1888

0.1388

0.1350

0.1242

0.0835

0.0694

0.1405

0.0972

0.0874

SDE

0.1672

0.1070

0.1071

0.1821

0.1378

0.1329

RMS
E
MAE

0.1618

0.1074

0.1061

0.1963

0.1174

0.1142

0.1251

0.0835

0.0681

0.1516

0.0867

0.0780

SDE

0.1618

0.1074

0.1061

0.1703

0.1153

0.1118

RMS
E
MAE

0.1603

0.1355

0.1135

0.2124

0.1236

0.1203

0.1154

0.0997

0.0715

0.1616

0.0872

0.0770

SDE

0.1603

0.1189

0.1135

0.1020

0.1125

0.1190

2.4. References
[1]

D. Cheeke, Ultrasonic Instruments and Devices, Academic Press, CA, USA,


ISBN 0-125-31951-7, pp. 471-562, 1999.

[2]

M Trainer, Kelvin and piezoelectricity, European Jr. of Physics. 24, pp. 535-542,
2003.

[3]

H. Allik and T.J.R. Hughes, Finite element modelling for piezoelectric vibration,
Int. Jr. of Numerical Methods of Engineering, 2, pp. 151-157, 1970.

[4]

A. Ballato, Piezoelectricity: Old effect, new thrusts, IEEE Trans. Ultrason.


Ferroelec. Freq. Cont. 42 (5), pp. 916-926, 1995.

[5]

N. Setter, Piezoelectric materials in Devices, EPFL Swiss Fed. Ins. Of Tech.,


ISBN 2-9700346-0-3, May 2002.

[6]

K.M. Lakin, Thin film resonators and filters, IEEE Symp. Proc., pp.895-906,
1999.

[7]

J. Krautkramer and H. Krautkramer, Ultrasonic Testing of Materials, 4th Edition,


Springer-Verlag, ISBN 3-540-51231 & 0-387-51231-4, 1990.

[8]

P.R. Hoskins et al., Diagnostic Ultrasound: Physics and Equipments, Greenwich


Medical Media Ltd., ISBN 1841100420, 2003.

[9]

B. Raj, V. Rajendran, and P. Palanichamy, Science and Technology of


Ultrasonics, Alpha Science International Ltd. U.K. 2004.

[10]

E.P. Papadakis, Ultrasonic Instruments and Devices, Academic Press, CA, USA,
ISBN 0-125-31951-7, pp. 471-562, 1999.

[11]

J. Hossack, Extended bandwidth ultrasonic transducer, United States Patent,


5,957,851, Sep. 1999.

[12]

roceedings, pp. 611-614, 1991.

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