Medical ultrasound and other devices that require transducer arrays are difficult to manu-facture, particularly for high frequency devices (>30 MHz). To enable focusing and beam steering, it is necessary to reduce the center-to-center element spacing to half of the acoustic wavelength. Conventional methodologies prevent co-sintering ceramic–polymer composites due to the low de-composition temperatures of the polymer. Moreover, for ultrasound transducer arrays exceeding 30 MHz, methods such as dice-and-fill cannot provide the dimensional tolerances required. Other techniques in which the ceramic is formed in the green state often fail to retain the required dimen-sions without distortion on firing the ceramic. This paper explores the use of the cold sintering process to produce dense lead zirconate titanate (PZT) ceramics for application in high frequency transducer arrays. PZT–polymer 2-2 composites were fabricated by cold sintering tape cast PZT with Pb nitrate as a sintering aid and ZnO as the sacrificial layer. PZT beams of 35 µm width with ~5.4 µm kerfs were produced by this technique. The ZnO sacrificial layer was also found to serve as a liquid phase sintering aid that led to grain growth in adjacent PZT. This composite produced resonance frequencies of >17 MHz.
All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes
- Control and Systems Engineering
- Control and Optimization