Piezoelectric technology is the backbone of most medical ultrasound imaging arrays, however, in scaling the technology to sizes required for high frequency operation (> 20 MHz), it encounters substantial difficulties in fabrication and signal transduction efficiency. These limitations particularly affect the design of intravascular ultrasound (IVUS) imaging probes whose operating frequency can approach 60 MHz. Optical technology has been proposed and investigated for several decades as an alternative approach for high frequency ultrasound transducers. However, to apply this promising technology in guiding clinical operations such as in interventional cardiology, brain surgery, and laparoscopic surgery further raise in the sensitivity is required. Here, in order to achieve the required sensitivity for an intravascular ultrasound imaging probe, we introduce design changes making use of alternative receiver mechanisms. First, we present an air cavity detector that makes use of a polymer membrane for increased mechanical deflection. We have also significantly raised the thin film detector sensitivity by improving its optical characteristics. This can be achieved by inducing a refractive index feature inside the Fabry-Perot resonator that simply creates a waveguide between the two mirrors. This approach eliminates the loss in energy due to diffraction in the cavity, and therefore the Q-factor is only limited by mirror loss and absorption. To demonstrate this optical improvements, a waveguide Fabry-Perot resonator has been fabricated consisting of two dielectric Bragg reflectors with a layer of photosensitive polymer between them. The measured finesse of the fabricated resonator was 692, and the Q-factor was 55000. The fabrication process of this device has been modified to fabricate an ultrasonically testable waveguide Fabry-Perot resonator. By applying this method, we have achieved a noise equivalent pressure of 178 Pa over a bandwidth of 28 MHz or 0.03 Pa/Hz1/2 which is approximately 20-fold better than a similar device without a waveguide. The finesse of the tested Fabry-Perot resonator was around 200. This result is 5 times higher than the finesse measured in the same device outside the waveguide region. In future, our developed technology can be integrated on the tip of an optical fiber bundle and applied for intravascular ultrasound imaging.
University of Minnesota Ph.D. dissertation. November 2014. Major: Biomedical Engineering. Advisor: Shai Ashkenazi. 1 computer file (PDF); ix. 157 pages.
Tadayon, Mohammad Amin.
Optical micromachined ultrasound transducers (OMUT) : a new approach for high frequency ultrasound imaging.
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