Piezoelectric technology is the backbone of most medical ultrasound imaging arrays; however, signal transduction efficiency severely deteriorates in scaling the technology to element size smaller than 0.1 mm, often required for high-frequency operation (>20 MHz). Optical sensing and generation of ultrasound has been proposed and studied as an alternative technology for implementing sub-millimeter size arrays with element size down to 10 μm. The application of thin polymer film Fabry-Perot resonators has been demonstrated for high-frequency ultrasound detection; however, their sensitivity is limited by light diffraction loss. Here, we introduce a new method to increase the sensitivity of an optical ultrasound receiver by utilizing a waveguide between the mirrors of the Fabry-Perot resonator. This approach eliminates diffraction loss from the cavity, and therefore the finesse is only limited by mirror loss and absorption. By applying this method, we have achieved noise equivalent pressure of 178 Pa over a bandwidth of 30 MHz or 0.03 Pa/Hz1/2, which is about 20-fold better than a similar device without a waveguide. The finesse of the tested Fabry-Perot resonator was around 200. This result is 5 times higher than the finesse measured in the same device outside the waveguide region.
|Original language||English (US)|
|Number of pages||7|
|Journal||IEEE Transactions on Ultrasonics, Ferroelectrics, and Frequency Control|
|State||Published - Dec 1 2014|