Laser generated ultrasound sources using polymer nanocomposites for high frequency metrology

Srinath Rajagopal, Toby Sainsbury, Bradley E. Treeby, Ben T. Cox

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingConference contribution

3 Scopus citations


Accurate characterization of ultrasound fields generated by diagnostic and therapeutic transducers is critical for patient safety. This requires hydrophones calibrated to a traceable standard and currently the upper calibration frequency range available to the user community is limited to a frequency of 40 MHz. However, the increasing use of high frequencies for both imaging and therapy necessitates calibrations to frequencies well beyond this range. For this to be possible, a source of high amplitude, broadband, quasi-planar and stable ultrasound fields is required. This is difficult to achieve using conventional piezoelectric sources, but laser generated ultrasound is a promising technique in this regard. In this study, various polymer-carbon nanotube nanocomposites (PNC) were fabricated and tested for their suitability for such an application by varying the polymer type, carbon nanotubes weight content in the polymer, and PNC thickness. A broadband hydrophone was used to measure the peak pressure and bandwidth of the laser generated ultrasound pulse. Peak-positive pressures of up to 8 MPa and −6dB bandwidths of up to 40 MHz were recorded. There is a nonlinear dependence of the peak pressure on the laser fluence and the bandwidth scales inversely proportionally to the peak pressure. The high-pressure plane waves generated from this preliminary investigation has demonstrated that laser generated ultrasound sources are a promising technique for high frequency calibration of hydrophones.
Original languageEnglish (US)
Title of host publication2017 IEEE International Ultrasonics Symposium (IUS)
PublisherInstitute of Electrical and Electronics Engineers (IEEE)
ISBN (Print)9781538633830
StatePublished - Nov 22 2017


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