Piezoelectric micromachined ultrasound transducer (PMUT) matrix arrays were fabricated containing novel through-silicon interconnects and integrated into intracardiac catheters for in vivo real-time 3-D imaging. PMUT arrays with rectangular apertures containing 256 and 512 active elements were fabricated and operated at 5 MHz. The arrays were bulk micromachined in silicon-on-insulator substrates, and contained flexural unimorph membranes comprising the device silicon, lead zirconate titanate (PZT), and electrode layers. Through-silicon interconnects were fabricated by depositing a thin-film conformal copper layer in the bulk micromachined via under each PMUT membrane and photolithographically patterning this copper layer on the back of the substrate to facilitate contact with the individually addressable matrix array elements. Cable assemblies containing insulated 45-AWG copper wires and a termination silicon substrate were thermocompression bonded to the PMUT substrate for signal wire interconnection to the PMUT array. Side-viewing 14-Fr catheters were fabricated and introduced through the femoral vein in an adult porcine model. Real-time 3-D images were acquired from the right atrium using a prototype ultrasound scanner. Full 60° × 60° volume sectors were obtained with penetration depth of 8 to 10 cm at frame rates of 26 to 31 volumes per second.
In vivo real-time 3-D intracardiac echo using PMUT arrays