JPH0243899

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DESCRIPTION JPH0243899
[0001]
[Industrial field of application] In the present invention, so-called electronic radial type or
electronic convex type ultrasonic probe in which a plurality of ultrasonic transducers are
arranged circumferentially, over the entire circumference, or over a certain range It relates to a
tactile element, and in particular the shape and assembly of the acoustic lens relates to the
structure. [Prior Art] Among so-called electronic scan type ultrasonic probes in which a plurality
of ultrasonic transducers are arrayed, there is one in which the front surface of the ultrasonic
transducers is simply covered with a holding film. An acoustic lens is provided on the front
surface of the ultrasonic transducer, i.e., on the transmitting and receiving surface, in order to
focus the ultrasonic beam well, in the type for improving the resolution. Among these electronic
scan type ultrasonic probes, an electronic linear type and an electronic sector type in which
ultrasonic transducers are arranged in a plane are shown in FIG. 3 (a). As shown in (b), on the
transmission / reception surface of the ultrasonic transducers 12 arranged in a plane, a plate-like
acoustic lens 13 made of silicon resin or the like and having a convex cross section is arranged
along the arrangement direction of the ultrasonic transducers. It is provided to cover the
transmitting and receiving surface. The acoustic lens 13 is firmly fixed to the transmission and
reception surface, and the acoustic lens 13 is firmly pressed and adhered to the transmission and
reception surface so that the thickness of the adhesive layer can not be uneven. The shape and
attachment of this acoustic lens are basically the same as in the so-called electronic compex type
in which a plurality of ultrasonic transducers are arranged in a convex shape, and as shown in
FIG. 3 (c), A structure is adopted in which a plate-like acoustic lens is bent and pressed so as to
be attached to a convex transmitting / receiving surface by utilizing the flexibility of the lens
made of silicon resin or the like. Also, as shown in FIG. 3 (d) as a special example, four ultrasonic
transducers 14 are provided so as to form a quadrilateral with the transmission / reception
surface facing outside, and the external shape is spherical inside the inside. A continuous
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acoustic lens 15 provided with an angular hole for mounting four ultrasonic transducers in the
form of a square, that is, a ring-shaped acoustic lens 15 having a spherical outer shape and a
polygonal inner shape There is also. SUMMARY OF THE INVENTION The acoustic lens needs to
be fixed without disturbing the propagation of ultrasonic waves and without falling off. When the
transmission / reception surface is flat, such as electronic linear type or electronic sector type, a
plate-like acoustic lens with a wide transmission / reception surface can be pressed uniformly
from one direction and adhered, so the above conditions are not satisfied and fixed It is easy to
do. Also in the electronic convex type, since an acoustic lens made of silicon resin or the like has
flexibility, a plate-like acoustic lens having a wide transmission / reception surface is bent and
adhered along a convex transmission / reception surface. Or, if an acoustic lens shaped according
to the curvature of the transmitting and receiving surface is used, it can be attached and adhered
as it is.
When the range of the transmitting and receiving surface is 180 ° or less, the acoustic lens can
be pressed from one direction when bonding the acoustic lens, so that bonding can be performed
uniformly, and the bonding of the ultrasonic wave is not disturbed. it can. However, the method
of bonding a plate-like acoustic lens as described above, or the method of bonding an acoustic
lens having both ends molded according to the curvature of the transmitting and receiving
surfaces, includes a plurality of ultrasonic transducers all over the circumference. In the so-called
electronic radial type arranged around the circumference, it is necessary to bond both ends of
the acoustic lens somewhere on the circumference, and this joint disturbs the propagation of
ultrasonic waves. In addition, the fact that the bonding portion is formed on the outer surface
may cause peeling from that portion due to adhesion deterioration or external force, and there is
a possibility that the acoustic lens may be dropped. Furthermore, even in the electronic radial
type, even in the case of an ultra-wide-angle electronic convex type in which the range of the
transmitting / receiving surface, that is, the scanning range angle exceeds 180 °, the adhesive
layer can not be uneven in thickness and can be bonded When pressing the acoustic lens against
the transmission / reception surface, it is necessary to press from opposite directions toward the
center of the circumference, and some of the acoustic lens are This causes the phenomenon of
floating, which causes unevenness in the thickness of the adhesive layer, causing unevenness in
the propagation of ultrasonic waves, and causing problems such as inability to achieve good
adhesion. The structure of providing a ring-shaped acoustic lens having a spherical outer shape
and a polygonal inner shape is only a ring-shaped connection of an acoustic lens to a planar
ultrasonic transducer, so that connection Since the part is not a part that can function as an
acoustic lens, but an acoustic lens part and a non-acoustic lens part are mixed, it is a so-called
electronic radial type ultrasonic probe that requires a uniform lens effect over the entire
circumference Is not applicable, this is the same even if the number of ultrasonic transducers is
increased to make it a pentagon, a hexagon, or more polygons, and the outer shape is spherical
and the inner shape is basically a polygon. In an acoustic lens based on the concept of anomalous
concept, even if it has a polygon with a large number of angles, that is, a small polygon with one
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side, the alignment of a small number of each side with each ultrasonic transducer is very large.
It needs no longer Otherwise, this is practically impossible, and it is impossible to propagate in
the same conditions in any direction ultrasound over the entire circumference cause deviation
always somewhere. And in this structure of providing a ring-shaped acoustic lens having a
spherical outer shape and a polygonal inner shape, even if it is a ring-shaped acoustic lens, each
acoustic lens is combined with each ultrasonic transducer to be vertical. Can be bonded to all
four ultrasonic transducers if pressed from four directions, and the size of the square hole of the
acoustic lens is ultrasonic and the size of the square hole of the acoustic lens is ultrasonic
vibration The circumference of the square hole of the acoustic lens is longer than the outer
circumference of the square made by the ultrasonic transducer if the size of the acoustic lens is
larger than the size of the tetragon made by the child or due to the pressing for bonding.
Wrinkles due to the difference in length between the two can also be produced at the four
corners that do not affect the transmission and reception of the four ultrasonic transducers.
However, in the case where a plurality of ultrasonic transducers are arranged circumferentially, it
is necessary to have an even lens effect over the entire circumference, but if simply making it
into a ring shape, the above-mentioned wrinkling, that is, the acoustic of that portion Since the
lens is lifted up and the adhesive is accumulated and the thickness of the adhesive layer is
increased by a certain amount, it is always located on the front of the ultrasonic transducer, so
the ultrasonic wave propagation in that part is disturbed. Since it arises, the above-mentioned
method of simply connecting the acoustic lens directed in each direction can not be used.
Furthermore, in the above structure, it is necessary to properly align each acoustic lens portion
with each ultrasonic transducer in bonding operation, and then press each acoustic lens portion
or each ultrasonic transducer in each direction. , It takes time and effort of complicated jig and
work for that. The present invention has been made in view of the above problems, and in the
case of a so-called electronic radial type in which a plurality of ultrasonic transducers are
arranged all around the circumference, or the range of the transmitting / receiving surface, that
is, the angle of the scanning range is 180 In an ultra-wide-angle electronic convex type that
exceeds °°, there is no part that disturbs the propagation of ultrasonic waves in any part of the
acoustic lens, ultrasonic waves can be transmitted well over the entire scanning range, and
adhesive deterioration It is possible to fix the acoustic lens with no fear of peeling off or falling
off due to etc. Furthermore, the acoustic lens structure can transmit ultrasonic waves uniformly
over the entire scanning range without any unevenness It is an object of the present invention to
provide an ultrasound probe having [Means for Solving the Problems] A feature of the ultrasonic
probe according to the present invention is an annular ultrasonic probe in which a plurality of
ultrasonic transducers are circumferentially arranged and an acoustic lens is provided on the
outer surface of the ultrasonic probe. In the child, the acoustic lens is a ring of inner and outer
concentric rings. Furthermore, the ring-shaped acoustic lens is made to be elastic, and the inner
diameter thereof is equal to or smaller than the outer diameter of the circumferentially arranged
ultrasonic transducer portion. . [Operation] In the ultrasonic probe of the present invention, since
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the acoustic lens is ring-shaped, there is no seam anywhere along the entire circumference, and
the ultrasonic wave propagates in all directions without being disturbed in any direction. It will
be. Further, the absence of a joint due to being ring-shaped means that there is no need to worry
about the deterioration of adhesion from this part or the peeling of the acoustic lens due to an
external force, and the HM film is fixed without concern of falling off. Moreover, since it is a ring
shape of the inner and outer concentric circles, ultrasonic waves can be propagated in the same
direction in any direction over the entire circumference, and assembling is done without regard
to the alignment with each ultrasonic transducer in assembly. Will be able to
Furthermore, the ring-shaped acoustic lens is made to have elasticity, and the inner diameter
thereof is made equal to or smaller than the outer diameter of the circumferentially arranged
ultrasonic transducer portion, so that the acoustic lens The thickness of the adhesive layer is
uniformly and firmly adhered over the entire circumference, since the acoustic lens itself presses
uniformly and uniformly over the entire transmission / reception surface at the time of
mounting. In addition, since the acoustic lens itself is pressed, no bonding jig is required in the
bonding and drying operation, and the bonding operation can be performed extremely easily. An
embodiment of the present invention will be described below with reference to the drawings.
First, the outline will be described with reference to FIG. 1 which is an explanatory view of an
embodiment of the ultrasonic probe of the present invention. A support member 1 supports a
plurality of ultrasonic transducers, and has a cylindrical or cylindrical shape. A plurality of
ultrasonic transducers 2 are arrayed over the entire circumference on this outer peripheral
surface, and a so-called ultrasonic transducer portion 3 is formed. An acoustic lens 4 is provided
on the outer side of the ultrasonic transducer portion 3, that is, on the outer side of the
transmitting and receiving surfaces of the plurality of ultrasonic transducers 2 so as to cover the
transmitting and receiving surface over the entire circumference. The acoustic lens 4 has a
convex shape in cross section and has a ring shape, and the outer diameter, that is, the outer
diameter formed by the convex curved surface portion and the inner diameter formed by the
linear portion on the side in contact with the transmitting and receiving surface are concentric
circles. The material is made of silicone resin or the like and has elasticity, and the inner diameter
is the same as the natural state of the single acoustic lens with respect to the outer diameter
formed by the transmitting and receiving surfaces of the plurality of ultrasonic transducers 2
arranged circumferentially. The diameter is made a little smaller. The structure will be described
in more detail by FIG. 2, which is a detailed side cross-sectional view of one embodiment of the
present invention. Reference numeral 1 denotes a cylindrical or cylindrical support member for
supporting the plurality of ultrasonic transducers 2 as described above, and serves as a support
for the ultrasonic transducers and a damper material. A plurality of ultrasonic transducers 2 are
circumferentially arranged on the outer periphery of the support member 1 with the respective
unique electrodes 5 on the inner side and the common electrode 6 fJ on the outer side, and
bonded to the outer peripheral surface side of the support member 1. , The ultrasonic transducer
portion 3 is formed. Reference numeral 7 denotes a signal line electrically connected to the
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specific electrode 5 of each of the plurality of ultrasonic transducers 2. Reference numeral 8 is a
signal line electrically connected to the common electrode 6. Common electrode 6 (! An acoustic
lens 4 is provided on the outer surface of the ultrasonic transducer, that is, the transmitting and
receiving surface so as to cover the transmitting and receiving surface of the ultrasonic
transducer over the entire circumference, and is adhered to the outer surface of the ultrasonic
transducer, that is, the transmitting and receiving surface Glued with an agent. An acoustic
matching layer may be provided between the acoustic lens and the outer surface of the ultrasonic
transducer, that is, in this case, the outer surface of the acoustic matching layer corresponds to
the transmission and reception surface referred to here, and The inner diameter of the lens 4 is
said to be the same or smaller than the outer diameter including the acoustic matching layer.
One end of the end of the acoustic lens 4 has the same diameter as the inner diameter of the
acoustic lens in order to facilitate attachment to the ultrasonic transducer portion 3, and the
other end is the inner diameter of the acoustic lens It has a smaller diameter, but it abuts on the
side surface of the ultrasonic transducer portion 3 and is positioned and it is easy to secure water
tightness by an adhesive or a sealing agent. Also, the watertightness of the connecting portion
with the base iv 9 connected to one end of the ultrasonic transducer portion 3 and holding the
ultrasonic transducer portion 3 and the cover 10 connected to the other end with the adhesive or
sealing agent is good. In order to ensure that, cylindrical convex parts 4a and 4b are provided at
both ends of the acoustic lens 4 and in the direction of the respective ends and over the entire
circumference. The cover 10 is provided with a hole 11 penetrating the inside, and the hole 11 is
also communicated with the inside of the support member 1 and the base portion 9 to be
opened. In the case of a so-called ultrasonic endoscope in which the ultrasonic probe and the
endoscope are combined, the hole 11 is provided to provide the function of the human body
insertion portion of the endoscope, or simply as a hollow conduit. As a suction path for body fluid
etc. when used as an ultrasonic probe inserted into a body cavity, or as a water flow path for
sending water etc. into a body cavity, or as a guide path when a treatment tool etc. is inserted
into a body cavity It is effective when used. In assembly, since the acoustic lens 4 is in the form
of a ring having elasticity, an adhesive is applied to the adhesive surface, and then the inside
diameter of the acoustic lens 4 is expanded to make the outside of the ultrasonic transducer of
the ultrasonic transducer portion 3 It is covered on the surface, that is, the transmitting and
receiving surface. The mounted acoustic lens 4 is compressed by the elastic force and thus
pressed firmly and uniformly around the transmission / reception surface. The adhesive layer is
formed to have a uniform thickness all around by this uniform uniform pressing. In the present
ultrasonic probe configured as described above, since the acoustic lens 4 has a ring shape, there
is no part that disturbs the propagation of ultrasonic waves such as joints throughout the entire
circumference, and the ultrasonic waves are all It propagates well in all directions. In addition,
since there is no joint, there is no concern that the acoustic lens may come off due to
deterioration of the adhesive or peeling from the joint due to an external force. Since the acoustic
lens 4 has a ring shape of inner and outer concentric circles, an equal lens effect is given in any
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direction over the entire circumference, and ultrasonic waves propagate under the same
condition in any direction over the entire circumference. In addition, since the acoustic lens is
pressed firmly and uniformly all around the transmission / reception surface by the contraction
force of the acoustic lens itself, the thickness of the adhesive becomes uniform, and there is no
unevenness in the thickness of the adhesive layer. It spreads without unevenness and Yugami.
And, in the assembling bonding work, since the acoustic lens 4 is the inner and outer concentric
circles, the cross-sectional shape is the same in any part, so in the mounting to the ultrasonic
transducer portion 3, the mounting in the circumferential direction There is no need to worry,
but it is easy to assemble as it is simply covered, and in the bonding and drying operation, the
acoustic lens 4 itself tries to firmly adhere by the contractile force, so that a cure etc. to apply an
external force for adhesion It is easy to do the bonding work without the need. In the above
embodiment, a so-called electronic radial type ultrasonic probe in which a plurality of ultrasonic
transducers are arranged circumferentially over the entire circumference is used, but it is not
limited to the entire circumference but in a circumferential area. In particular, a so-called
electronic convex ultrasonic probe in which a plurality of ultrasonic transducers are arranged in
a range of 180 ° or more may be used. In this case, the portion where the ultrasonic
transducers are not arranged is an ultrasonic transducer By making the diameter equal to that of
the transmission / reception surface, the other structure can be the same as that of this
embodiment, and the same operation and effect can be obtained. [Effects of the Invention] As
described in detail above, in the ultrasonic probe of the present invention, there is no part that
disturbs the propagation of ultrasonic waves such as joints across the entire circumference by
making the acoustic lens ring-shaped, Ultrasonic waves propagate well in all directions in all
directions. In addition, since there is no joint, there is no concern that the acoustic lens may come
off due to deterioration of the adhesive or peeling from the joint due to an external force.
Further, by forming the acoustic lens in the form of a ring of inner and outer concentric circles,
ultrasonic waves can be propagated under the same conditions in any part over the entire
circumference, and uniform propagation conditions can be ensured over the entire
circumference. And since it is the same cross-sectional shape in every part because it is a
concentric circle inside and outside, in the mounting to the ultrasonic transducer part 3, there is
no need to care about the position in the circumferential direction, and it is merely covered
Assembly is easy because it is good. Furthermore, since the ring-shaped acoustic lens has
elasticity and the inner diameter is equal to or smaller than the outer diameter of the
circumferentially arranged ultrasonic transducer portion, ultrasonic vibration is generated. When
mounted on the transmitting and receiving surface of the child, the acoustic lens is firmly and
uniformly pressed all around the transmitting and receiving surface by the contraction force of
the acoustic lens itself, so the thickness of the adhesive becomes uniform and there is no
unevenness in the thickness of the adhesive layer. It will be able to propagate firmly on all
directions, with no unevenness and no distortion. Moreover, since the acoustic lens adheres to
itself by the contraction force, bonding can be performed easily without the need for a jig or the
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like for pressing the acoustic lens in the bonding and drying operation.
[0002]
Brief description of the drawings
[0003]
FIG. 1 is an explanatory view of one embodiment of the present invention.
FIG. 2 is a detailed side cross-sectional view of one embodiment of the present invention. FIG. 3 is
an explanatory view of various conventional ultrasonic probes. l Support member 3 M acoustic
transducer part 2 ultrasonic transducer 4 acoustic lens
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