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Title: Ultrasound Imaging by Thermally Tunable Phononic Crystal Lens
This work demonstrates the detections and mappings of a solid object using a thermally tunable solid-state phononic crystal lens at low frequency for potential use in future long-distance detection. The phononic crystal lens is infiltrated with a polyvinyl alcohol-based poly n-isopropyl acrylamide (PVA-PNIPAm) bulk hydrogel polymer. The hydrogel undergoes a volumetric phase transition due to a temperature change leading to a temperature-dependent sound velocity and density. The temperature variation from 20 °C to 39 °C changes the focal length of the tunable solid-state lens by 1 cm in the axial direction. This thermo-reversible tunable focal length lens was used in a monostatic setup for one- and two-dimensional mapping scans in both frequency domain echo-intensity and temporal domain time-of-flight modes. The experimental results illustrated 1.03 ± 0.15λ and 2.35 ± 0.28λ on the lateral and axial minimum detectable object size. The experiments using the tunable lens demonstrate the capability to detect objects by changing the temperature in water without translating an object, source, or detector. The time-of-flight mode modality using the tunable solid-state phononic lens increases the signal-to-noise ratio compared to a conventional phononic crystal lens.  more » « less
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International Journal of Molecular Sciences
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National Science Foundation
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