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First measurements on a novel type of optical micro-machined ultrasound transducer (OMUT)

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Author: Leinders, S.M. · Dongen, K.W.A. van · Jong, N. de · Verweij, M.D. · Westerveld, W.J. · Urbach, H.P. · Neer, P.L.M.J. van · Pozo Torres, J.M.
Publisher: IEEE Computer Society
Source:2014 IEEE International Ultrasonics Symposium Proceedings, 2572-2575
Identifier: 520179
ISBN: 9781479970490
Article number: 6932179
Keywords: Electronics · High Tech Systems & Materials · Industrial Innovation · Fluid Mechanics Chemistry & Energetics Physics & Electronics · PID - Process & Instrument Development OPT - Optics · TS - Technical Sciences


Several types of ultrasound sensors have been developed and are used in the field of medical imaging. Conventional transducers are made of piezo-electric material and show good practical performance. However, when the piezo-electric elements need to be small (below 100 μm × 100 μm), these transducers face challenges in fabrication as well as the electrical impedance matching of the elements. As an alternative, we fabricated an optical micro-machined ultrasound transducer (OMUT). This sensor contains an optical micro-ring resonator, which is coupled to a photonic waveguide, and integrated onto an acoustical membrane. The OMUT is build with standard silicon-on-insulator (SOI) technology, allowing for easy fabrication. In this paper, we present the first measurement results of the sensor. Our prototype has a -6 dB bandwidth of 19% and a noise equivalent pressure (NEP) of 0.5 Pa. These first acoustical measurements show that this prototype may form the basis of future ultrasound transducers.