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Calculation and measurement of electromechanical coupling coefficient of capacitive micromachined ultrasonic transducers

Yaralioglu, GG
Ergun, AS
Bayram, Barış
Haeggstrom, E
Khuri-Yakub, BT
The electromechanical coupling coefficient is an important figure of merit of ultrasonic transducers. The transducer bandwidth is determined by the electromechanical coupling efficiency. The coupling coefficient is, by definition, the ratio of delivered mechanical energy to the stored total energy in the transducer. In this paper, we present the calculation and measurement of coupling coefficient for capacitive micromachined ultrasonic transducers (CMUTs). The finite element method (FEM) is used for our calculations, and the FEM results are compared with the analytical results obtained with parallel plate approximation. The effect of series and parallel capacitances in the CMUT also is investigated. The FEM calculations of the CMUT indicate that the electromechanical coupling coefficient is independent of any series capacitance that may exist in the structure. The series capacitance, however, alters the collapse voltage of the membrane. The parallel parasitic capacitance that may exist in a CMUT or is external to the transducer reduces the coupling coefficient at a given bias voltage. At the collapse, regardless of the parasitics, the coupling coefficient reaches unity. Our experimental measurements confirm a coupling coefficient of 0.85 before collapse, and measurements are in agreement with theory.