Beauty treatment for skin requires a high-intensity focused ultrasound (HIFU) transducer to generate coagulative necrosis in a small focal volume (e.g., 1 mm3) placed at a shallow depth (3–4.5 mm from the skin surface). For this, it is desirable to make the F-number as small as possible under the largest possible aperture in order to generate ultrasound energy high enough to induce tissue coagulation in such a small focal volume. However, satisfying both conditions at the same time is demanding. To meet the requirements, this paper, therefore, proposes a double-focusing technique, in which the aperture of an ultrasound transducer is spherically shaped for initial focusing and an acoustic lens is used to finally focus ultrasound on a target depth of treatment; it is possible to achieve the F-number of unity or less while keeping the aperture of a transducer as large as possible. In accordance with the proposed method, we designed and fabricated a 7-MHz double-focused ultrasound transducer. The experimental results demonstrated that the fabricated double-focused transducer had a focal length of 10.2 mm reduced from an initial focal length of 15.2 mm and, thus, the F-number changed from 1.52 to 1.02. Based on the results, we concluded that the proposed double-focusing method is suitable to decrease F-number while maintaining a large aperture size.
Jang, J., & Chang, J. H. (2016). Design and fabrication of double-focused ultrasound transducers to achieve tight focusing. Sensors (Switzerland), 16(8). https://doi.org/10.3390/s16081248