Automatic optimal input command for linearization of cMUT output by a temporal target.
Capacitive micromachined ultrasonic transducers (CMUTs) present advantages such as wide frequency bandwidth, which could be further developed for nonlinear imaging. However, the driving electrostatic force induces a nonlinear behavior of the CMUT, thus generating undesirable harmonic components in the generated acoustic signal. Consequently, the use of CMUT for harmonic imaging (with or without contrast agents) becomes challenging. This paper suggests 2 compensation approaches, linear and nonlinear methods, to cancel unwanted nonlinear components. Furthermore, nonlinear responses from contrast agent were evaluated using CMUT in transmit before and after compensation. The results were compared with those obtained using a PZT transducer in transmit. Results showed that CMUT nonlinear behavior is highly influenced by the excitation to bias voltage ratio. Measurements of output pressure very close to the CMUT surface allow the estimation of optimal parameters for each compensation approach. Both methods showed a harmonic reduction higher than 20 dB when one element or several elements are excited. In addition, the study demonstrates that nonlinear approach seems to be more efficient because it is shown to be less sensitive to interelement variability and further avoids fundamental component deterioration. The results from contrast agent measurements showed that the responses obtained using CMUT elements in transmit with compensation were similar to those from PZT transducer excitation. This experimental study demonstrates the opportunity to use CMUT with traditional harmonic contrast imaging techniques.