173. stretchable ultrasonic transducer arrays for three-dimensional imaging on complex surfaces

Department: Mechanical & Aerospace Engineering
Faculty Advisor(s): Sheng Xu

Primary Student
Name: Hongjie Hu
Email: h4hu@ucsd.edu
Phone: 858-260-9592
Grad Year: 2020

Ultrasonic imaging has been implemented as a powerful tool for noninvasive subsurface inspections of both structural and biological media. Current ultrasound probes are rigid and bulky and cannot readily image through nonplanar surfaces. However, imaging through these complicated surfaces is vital because stress concentrations at geometrical discontinuities render these surfaces highly prone to defects. This study reports a stretchable ultrasound probe that can conform to and examine on nonplanar complex surfaces. The probe consists of a 10 10 array of piezoelectric transducers that exploit an ?island-bridge? layout with multilayer electrodes, encapsulated by thin and compliant silicone elastomers. The stretchable probe shows excellent electromechanical coupling, minimal cross-talk, and more than 50% stretchability. Its performance is demonstrated by reconstructing defects in three-dimensional (3D) space with high spatial resolution through flat, concave, and convex surfaces. The results hold great implications for applications of ultrasound that require imaging through complex surfaces.

Industry Application Area(s)
Aerospace, Defense, Security | Civil/Structural Engineering | Materials

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