Super-harmonic imaging: development of an interleaved phased-array transducer

Paul L.M.J. van Neer, Guillaume Matte, Mikhail G. Danilouchkine, Christian Prins, Franc van den Adel, N. de Jong

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56 Citations (Scopus)


For several years, the standard in ultrasound imaging has been second-harmonic imaging. A new imaging technique dubbed "super-harmonic imaging" (SHI) was recently proposed. It takes advantage of the higher-third to fifth-harmonics arising from nonlinear propagation or ultrasound-contrast-agent (UCA) response. Next to its better suppression of near-field artifacts, tissue SHI is expected to improve axial and lateral resolutions resulting in clearer images than second-harmonic imaging. When SHI is used in combination with UCAs, a better contrast-to-tissue ratio can be obtained. The use of SHI implies a large dynamic range and requires a sufficiently sensitive array over a frequency range from the transmission frequency up to its fifth harmonic (bandwidth > 130%). In this paper, we present the characteristics and performance of a new interleaved dual frequency array built chiefly for SHI. We report the rationale behind the design choice, frequencies, aperture, and piezomaterials used. The array is efficient both in transmission and reception with well-behaved transfer functions and a combined -6-dB bandwidth of 144%. In addition, there is virtually no contamination of the harmonic components by spurious transducer transmission, due to low element-to-element crosstalk (< 30 dB) and a low transmission efficiency of the odd harmonics (< 46 dB). The interleaved array presented in this article possesses ideal characteristics for SHI and is suitable for other methods like second-harmonic, subharmonic, and second-order ultrasound field (SURF) imaging
Original languageUndefined
Pages (from-to)455-468
Number of pages14
JournalIEEE transactions on ultrasonics, ferroelectrics and frequency control
Issue number2
Publication statusPublished - 2010


  • interleaved phased array transducer
  • superharmonic imaging
  • contrast to tissue ratio
  • third harmonics
  • tissue SHI
  • ultrasound contrast agent response
  • ultrasound imaging
  • interleaved dual frequency array
  • inter-element crosstalk
  • fifth harmonics
  • fourth harmonics
  • nonlinear ultrasound propagation
  • near field artifact suppression
  • Transfer functions
  • piezomaterials
  • IR-79908
  • METIS-265892

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