Research

The Acoustic Group of the SU Microelectronics Program, in its broadest definition, performs research in the field of Acoustic/Ultrasonic imaging and non-destructive testing. To be more specific, two major research topics can be named which are in the group’s current agenda:

  1. The design and realization of Capacitive Micromachined Ultrasonic Transducers (CMUTs).
  2. Integrated Circuit (IC) design for CMUT interfacing.

The CMUT is a relatively new transducer type, which became feasible after the advances in silicon micromachining technology.

The CMUT is essentially a micron-sized air-gap capacitor, which, by electrostatic effects, is used for the generation and detection of acoustic/ultrasonic waves. Major advantages associated with the CMUT technology, compared to the conventional piezoelectric transducer field, is the compatibility with IC manufacturing processes, ease of production and larger bandwidth, the latest of which is still a heated controversy between the CMUT and Piezoelectric Transducer communities. The design, optimization, fabrication, and testing of CMUTs is a major research interest of the Acoustics Group.