Conventional ultrasound probes have inherent limitations in some application scenarios. Because of their fixed shapes and sizes, they can hardly pass through small orifices to examine the target closely. With the recent development of micro-electro-mechanical systems (MEMS) and flexible electronic technologies, collapsible and self-assembling devices are being considered as a potential approach to address this problem. This paper presents an innovative transformable ultrasonic transducer (TUT), which can transform between a 1D linear array and a 2D planar array with the ability of switching between different functions including 2D/3D imaging and high-intensity focused ultrasound beamforming. The transforming process is accomplished with a specially designed flexible printed circuit board inspired by paper-folding mechanism. The electrical and acoustic properties of the developed transducer along with the acoustic field distribution in its different forms have been characterized. The 2D/3D imaging performances of the TUT have been also evaluated under 1D and 2D configurations, respectively. In addition, the performance of a focused concave transforming mode has been also discussed. The evaluation results suggest that TUT can maintain its performance under different structures with precise transforming control. The TUT device has the potential to considerably expand the applications of industrial and clinical ultrasound.
- 1-3 piezoelectric composite; flexible printed circuit board; paper folding; transformable ultrasonic transducer
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Control and Systems Engineering
- Electrical and Electronic Engineering