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Microfabrication of stacks of acoustic matching layers for 15 MHz ultrasonic transducers


This paper presents a novel method used to manufacture stacks of multiple matching layers for 15 MHz piezoelectric ultrasonic transducers, using fabrication technology derived from the MEMS industry. The acoustic matching layers were made on a silicon wafer substrate using micromachining techniques, i.e., lithography and etch, to design silicon and polymer layers with the desired acoustic properties. Two matching layer configurations were tested: a double layer structure consisting of a silicon–polymer composite and polymer and a triple layer structure consisting of silicon, composite, and polymer. The composite is a biphase material of silicon and polymer in 2-2 connectivity. The matching layers were manufactured by anisotropic wet etch of a (1 1 0)-oriented Silicon-on-Insulator wafer. The wafer was etched by KOH 40 wt%, to form 83 μm deep and 4.5 mm long trenches that were subsequently filled with Spurr’s epoxy, which has acoustic impedance 2.4 MRayl. This resulted in a stack of three layers: The silicon substrate, a silicon–polymer composite intermediate layer, and a polymer layer on the top. The stacks were bonded to PZT disks to form acoustic transducers and the acoustic performance of the fabricated transducers was tested in a pulse-echo setup, where center frequency, −6 dB relative bandwidth and insertion loss were measured. The transducer with two matching layers was measured to have a relative bandwidth of 70%, two-way insertion loss 18.4 dB and pulse length 196 ns. The transducers with three matching layers had fractional bandwidths from 90% to 93%, two-way insertion loss ranging from 18.3 to 25.4 dB, and pulse lengths 326 and 446 ns. The long pulse lengths of the transducers with three matching layers were attributed to ripple in the passband.


Academic article





  • University of South-Eastern Norway
  • Norwegian University of Science and Technology
  • SINTEF Digital / Sustainable Communication Technologies



Published in









614 - 620

View this publication at Cristin