Design aspects of focal beams from high-intensity arrays

Douglas N. Stephens, Dustin E. Kruse, Shengping Qin, Katherine W. Ferrara

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

19 Scopus citations


As the applications of ultrasonic thermal therapies expand, the design of the high-intensity array must address both the energy delivery of the main beam and the character and relevance of off-target beam energy. We simulate the acoustic field performance of a selected set of circular arrays organized by array format, including flat versus curved arrays, periodic versus random arrays, and center void diameter variations. Performance metrics are based on the -3-dB focal main lobe (FML) positioning range, axial grating lobe (AGL) temperatures, and side lobe levels. Using finite-element analysis, we evaluate the relative heating of the FML and the AGLs. All arrays have a maximum diameter of 100, with element count ranging from 64 to 1024 and continuous wave frequency of 1.5 MHz. First, we show that a 50% spherical annulus produces focus beam side lobes which decay as a function of lateral distance at nearly 87% of the exponential rate of a full aperture. Second, for the arrays studied, the efficiency of power delivery over the -3-dB focus positioning range for spherical arrays is at least 2-fold greater than for flat arrays; the 256-element case shows a 5-fold advantage for the spherical array. Third, AGL heating can be significant as the focal target is moved to its distal halfintensity depth from the natural focus. Increasing the element count of a randomized array to 256 elements decreases the AGL-to-FML heating ratio to 0.12 at the distal half-intensity depth. Further increases in element count yield modest improvements. A 49% improvement in the AGL-to-peak heating ratio is predicted by using the Sumanaweera spiral element pattern with randomization.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Article number5995216
Pages (from-to)1590-1602
Number of pages13
JournalIEEE Transactions on Ultrasonics, Ferroelectrics, and Frequency Control
Issue number8
StatePublished - Aug 2011

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Electrical and Electronic Engineering
  • Acoustics and Ultrasonics
  • Instrumentation


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