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

Botong Zhu, Benjamin P. Tiller, Alan J. Walker, A. J. Mulholland, James F. C. Windmill

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

2 Citations (Scopus)
39 Downloads (Pure)


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.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1873-1881
Number of pages9
JournalIEEE Transactions on Ultrasonics, Ferroelectrics and Frequency Control
Issue number10
Early online date31 Jul 2018
Publication statusPublished - 1 Oct 2018


  • air coupled transducers
  • 3D print
  • additive manufacture
  • broad bandwidth
  • PVDF
  • piezo electric ultrasonic transducer

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