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Sensors 2015, 15(4), 8020-8041; doi:10.3390/s150408020

Piezoelectric Micromachined Ultrasound Transducer (PMUT) Arrays for Integrated Sensing, Actuation and Imaging

1
Institute for Medical Science and Technology, University of Dundee, Dundee DD2 1FD, UK
2
Materials Research Institute, The Pennsylvania State University, University Park, PA 16802, USA
3
Materials Science and Engineering, Georgia Institute of Technology, Atlanta, GA 30332-0245, USA
4
Intel Corporation, Hillsboro, OR 97124, USA
These authors contributed equally to this work.
*
Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Academic Editor: Xiaoning Jiang
Received: 13 February 2015 / Accepted: 26 March 2015 / Published: 3 April 2015
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Abstract

Many applications of ultrasound for sensing, actuation and imaging require miniaturized and low power transducers and transducer arrays integrated with electronic systems. Piezoelectric micromachined ultrasound transducers (PMUTs), diaphragm-like thin film flexural transducers typically formed on silicon substrates, are a potential solution for integrated transducer arrays. This paper presents an overview of the current development status of PMUTs and a discussion of their suitability for miniaturized and integrated devices. The thin film piezoelectric materials required to functionalize these devices are discussed, followed by the microfabrication techniques used to create PMUT elements and the constraints the fabrication imposes on device design. Approaches for electrical interconnection and integration with on-chip electronics are discussed. Electrical and acoustic measurements from fabricated PMUT arrays with up to 320 diaphragm elements are presented. The PMUTs are shown to be broadband devices with an operating frequency which is tunable by tailoring the lateral dimensions of the flexural membrane or the thicknesses of the constituent layers. Finally, the outlook for future development of PMUT technology and the potential applications made feasible by integrated PMUT devices are discussed. View Full-Text
Keywords: ultrasound; piezoelectric thin films; micromachined ultrasound transducers; arrays; integrated transducers ultrasound; piezoelectric thin films; micromachined ultrasound transducers; arrays; integrated transducers
This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited. (CC BY 4.0).

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MDPI and ACS Style

Qiu, Y.; Gigliotti, J.V.; Wallace, M.; Griggio, F.; Demore, C.E.M.; Cochran, S.; Trolier-McKinstry, S. Piezoelectric Micromachined Ultrasound Transducer (PMUT) Arrays for Integrated Sensing, Actuation and Imaging. Sensors 2015, 15, 8020-8041.

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