|dc.description.abstract||Acoustic imaging (including ultrasound and photoacoustic imaging) refers to a class of imaging methods that use high-frequency sound (ultrasound) waves to generate contrast images for the interrogated media. It provides 3D spatial distribution of structural, mechanical, and even compositional properties in different materials. To conduct 3D ultrasound imaging, 2D ultrasound transducer arrays followed by multi-channel high-frequency data acquisition (DAQ) systems are frequently used. However, as the quantity and density of the transducer elements and also the DAQ channels increase, the acoustic imaging system becomes complex, bulky, expensive, and also power consuming. This situation is especially true for 3D imaging systems, where a 2D transducer array with hundreds or even thousands of elements could be involved.
To address this issue, the objective of this research is to achieve new micromachined scanning devices to enable fast and versatile 2D ultrasound signal acquisition for 3D image reconstruction without involving complex physical transducer arrays and DAQ electronics. The new micromachined scanning devices studied in this research include 1) a water-immersible scanning mirror microsystem, 2) a micromechanical scanning transducer, and 3) a multi-layer linear transducer array. Especially, the water-immersible scanning mirror microsystem is capable of scanning focused ultrasound beam (from a single-element transducer) in two dimensions for 3D high-resolution acoustic microscopy. The micromechanical scanning transducer is capable of sending and receiving ultrasound signal from a single-element transducer to a 2D array of locations for 3D acoustic tomography. The multi-layer linear transducer array allows a unique electronic scanning scheme to simulate the functioning of a much larger 2D transducer array for 3D acoustic tomography. The design, fabrication and testing of the above three devices have been successfully accomplished and their applications in 3D acoustic microscopy and tomography have been demonstrated.||en