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Progress in developing a thermal method for measuring the output power of medical transducers that exploits the pyroelectric effect.

Zeqiri, B; Zauhar, G*; Hodnett, M; Barrie, J* (2011) Progress in developing a thermal method for measuring the output power of medical transducers that exploits the pyroelectric effect. Ultrasonics, 51 (4). pp. 420-424.

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Progress in developing a new measurement method for ultrasound output power is described. It is a thermal-based technique with the acoustic power generated by a transducer being absorbed within a specially developed polyurethane rubber material, whose high absorption coefficient ensures energy deposition within a few mm of the ultrasonic wave entering the material. The rate of change of temperature at the absorber surface is monitored using the pyroelectric voltage generated from electrodes disposed either side of a 60 mm diameter, 0.061 mm thick membrane of the piezoelectric polymer polyvinylidene fluoride (pvdf) bonded to the absorber. The change in the pyroelectric output voltage generated by the sensor when the transducer is switched ON and OFF is proportional to the delivered ultrasound power. The sensitivity of the device is defined as the magnitude of these switch voltages to a unit input stimulus of power (watt). Three important aspects of the performance of the pyroelectric sensor have been studied. Firstly, measurements have revealed that the temperature dependent sensitivity increases over the range from approximately 20 °C to 30 °C at a rate of +1.6% °C-1. Studies point to the key role that the properties of both the absorbing backing layer and pvdf membrane play in controlling the sensor response. Secondly, the high sensitivity of the technique has been demonstrated using an NPL Pulsed Checksource, a 3.5 MHz focused transducer delivering a nominal acoustic power level of 4 mW. Finally, proof-of-concept of a new type of acoustic sensor responding to time-averaged intensity has been demonstrated, through fabrication of an absorber backed-hydrophone of nominal active element diameter 0.4 mm. A preliminary study using such a device to resolve the spatial distribution of acoustic intensity within plane-piston and focused 3.5 MHz acoustic fields has been completed, with profiles compared to conventional techniques that depend on deriving intensity from acoustic pressure measurements made using the sensor as a calibrated hydrophone.

Item Type: Article
Keywords: Acoustic intensity, pyroelectricity, ultrasound power, ultrasound dosimetry
Subjects: Acoustics
Acoustics > Ultrasound
Identification number/DOI: 10.1016/j.ultras.2010.09.006
Last Modified: 02 Feb 2018 13:14
URI: http://eprintspublications.npl.co.uk/id/eprint/4910

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