North Carolina State University researchers have demonstrated a state-of-the-art technique for creating ultrasound images simpler than current methods. The new device eliminates the electrical signal processing, used in conventional ultrasound imaging, which could help significantly reduce the cost of the ultrasound devices.
The researchers have developed a receiver that includes an organic light-emitting diode (OLED) and a piezoelectric crystal. When an ultrasonic wave touches the crystal, a voltage is produced and lights up the OLED.
“Researchers develop a new technique for creating ultrasound images simpler than current methods.“
Co-author of a paper on the technology in the journal ACS Applied Materials and Interfaces, Professor Franky So, stated: “Our prototype is a proof of concept, so we designed it with an OLED array that is ten pixels by ten pixels, the resolution isn’t great. However, I can easily make it five-hundred pixels by five-hundred pixels, boosting the resolution substantially.”
Xiaoning Jiang, the paper’s co-author, stated: “This is really a completely new field for ultrasound, so we’re only beginning to explore the potential applications. However, there are obvious near term applications, such as non destructive testing, evaluation and inspections in the context of structural health monitoring.”