The application of high permittivity piezoelectric ceramics to 2D array transducers for medical imaging.
ABSTRACT Two-dimensional (2D) array transducers have become of great interest in the last few years, in view of real-time volumetric ultrasonic imaging. The electrical matching between the high electrical impedance of elements and the standard cables and electronics is one of the key issues in 2D array design. The use of high-permittivity ceramics such as PNNZT either in bulk configuration or in 1-3 piezocomposites decreases the electrical impedance. In this paper, bulk samples of PNNZT and PZT ceramics are characterised, and results are compared. 2D array elements are then manufactured and their electrical impedances measured. Theoretical predictions of homogenisation models for 1-3 piezocomposites allow the simulation of the electroacoustic behaviour of 2D array elements. Results for both piezocomposite and bulk materials can be obtained. Calculations of the input impedance, the sensitivity and the bandwidth of the different configurations are compared and discussed. These results demonstrate the advantages of the PNNZT compositions over standard PZT.