Fast and High-Resolution Ultrasound Pressure Field Mapping Using Luminescent Membranes

Simon E. Michels, Mathias Kersemans, Michel Versluis, Guillaume Lajoinie, Philippe F. Smet*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleAcademicpeer-review

5 Citations (Scopus)
38 Downloads (Pure)


Ultrasound is used extensively in medical imaging and therapy, non-destructive testing, flow sensing, underwater range assessment, and acoustic microscopy. To ensure the accuracy of these techniques, detailed knowledge of the acoustic pressure field produced by the ultrasonic transducer is required. This paper proposes a functional polymer membrane loaded with ultrasound-activated luminescent microparticles. The semitransparent membrane makes use of the luminescent properties of BaSi2O2N2:Eu2+ to convert ultrasonic pressure into visible light in a fast and straightforward way, through a process termed acoustically produced luminescence (APL). APL is shown to work within a wide range of acoustic frequencies (1–25 MHz) and pressures (50 kPa–4.5 MPa), and enables a quantitative characterization of ultrasound fields with a lateral spatial resolution below 200 µm. At the investigated pressures and frequencies, the light generation mechanism is essentially related to ultrasonic heating rather than mechanical stimulation. These membranes offer effective field mapping possibilities, much faster than conventional time consuming point-by-point hydrophone scanning.

Original languageEnglish
Article number2100085
JournalAdvanced Optical Materials
Issue number12
Early online date31 Mar 2021
Publication statusPublished - 18 Jun 2021


  • luminescence
  • thermoluminescence
  • ultrasound
  • visualization

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