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Publication - Professor Anthony Mulholland

    "Pipe organ" inspired air-coupled ultrasonic transducers with broader bandwidth


    Zhu, B, Tiller, BP, Walker, AJ, Mulholland, A & Windmill, J, 2018, ‘"Pipe organ" inspired air-coupled ultrasonic transducers with broader bandwidth’. IEEE Transactions on Ultrasonics, Ferroelectrics and Frequency Control conference proceedings.


    Piezoelectric micromachined ultrasonic transducers (PMUTs) are used to receive and transmit ultrasonic signals in industrial and biomedical applications. This type of transducer can be miniaturized and integrated with electronic systems since each element is small and the power requirements are low. The bandwidth of the PMUT may be narrow in some conventional designs, however it is possible to apply modified structures to enhance this. This paper presents a methodology for improving the bandwidth of air-coupled PMUTs without sensitivity loss by connecting a number of resonating pipes of various length to a cavity. A prototype piezoelectric diaphragm ultrasonic transducer is presented to prove the theory. This novel device was fabricated by additive manufacturing (3D printing), and consists of a PVDF thin film over a stereolithography designed backplate. The backplate design is inspired by a pipe organ musical instrument, where the resonant frequency (pitch) of each pipe is mainly determined by its length. The -6dB bandwidth of the “pipe organ” air-coupled transducer is 55.7% and 58.5% in transmitting and receiving modes, respectively, which is ~5 times wider than a custom-built standard device.

    Full details in the University publications repository