Piezoelectrics have been for long time the preferred materials for ultrasound imaging transducers. However, the rapid development of new diagnostic modalities and the requirements for high density functionality make the design of piezoelectric transducers more and more complex to fit new specifications and manufacturing not compatible with reliable processes and cost efficiency. With respect to the market analysis and customer feedback, the MEMSORS consortium has taken the unique opportunity to develop novel generation of unprecedented ultrasound product based on Capacitive Micromachined Ultrasonic Transducers (CMUTs) capable of outperforming conventional technology at very competitive and large volume capable processes.The project is structured as a smart embedding of well controlled sub component technologies in innovative product. The work to be performed will gather up implementation of micro machined electrostatic membranes, specific interconnect, analog signal circuits and transducer packaging / assembly through the following actions:
- Novel design and fabrication process of silicon imaging ultrasound arrays.
- Specific CMUT configuration topology and designs for high frequency and compact ultrasonic transducer.
- Optimized fabrication yield and reproducibility in CMUT manufacturing.
- Development of custom high density interconnection means, including through wafer interconnection.
- Analog circuits for use in CMUT probes.
- Optimization of the application-oriented packaging and miniaturization of products.
This project through ultrasound imaging arrays will provide the CMUT components new industrial opportunities to explore other domains of application such as microfluidics, physical and chemical sensors or biometric systems.