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IPE 23-20 Master Thesis: Characterization and finite element modelling of piezoelectric micromachined ultrasound transducers

Organizational unit

Institute for Data Processing and Electronics (IPE)

Job description

At the Institute of Data Processing and Electronics (IPE), a new method for early breast cancer detection is investigated. A full 3D ultrasound aperture is used for tomographic imaging of the breast. This allows multimodal (e.g. speed of sound or reflectivity) image reconstruction simultaneously. Fig. 1 shows the 2nd generation prototype of the Ultrasound Computer Tomography (USCT) device.

The current device uses bulk piezo transducers for generating and receiving the ultrasound signals. For future USCT generations, a significant higher number of transducers and a higher integration density is desirable. Therefore, different transducer concepts are currently under investigation. A promising technology are piezoelectric micromachined ultrasound transducers (PMUTs). Fig. 2 shows the basic idea and functionality of such devices.

The thesis encompasses the following topics

  • Introduction of USCT technology: imaging approach, current transducer design, basics of reconstruction algorithms and requirements for future transducers.
  • Literature research on PMUTs in ultrasound; summarizing key performance indicators such as sensitivity, center frequency and bandwidth.
  • Simplified analytical description of PMUT design (equivalent circuit model).
  • Finite element model of single PMUT cell using COMSOL with emphasis on electromechanical impedance analysis and ultrasound characteristics (pressure, frequency response, far-field beam, SNR, cross talk, emitting and receiving performance).
  • Model validation using 3D ultrasound testing environment with available PMUT prototypes.
  • Virtual design optimization.
  • Report writing and documentation of the process, software and data used and created.

Starting date

as soon as possible

Personal qualification

Required skills:

  • Basic antenna/sensor/wave field theory.
  • Scripting and programming experience.
  • Basic understanding of signal processing chain theory and practice (Fourier analysis, digital filters).
  • Usage of “good practice” engineering tools (concurrent and versioning tools such as GitLab)

Beneficial skills:

  • Experience in finite element modelling, preferably with COMSOL.
  • Experience using Matlab (statistical evaluation, signal processing and visualization).
  • Experience in analog circuit design, impedance analysis.

Field of study: Electrical, mechanical or medical engineering, applied physics

Contract Duration

limited regarding study regulations

Contact person in line-management

Martin Angerer; +49 721 / 608 24114;,

Michael Zapf; +49 721 / 608 22406;

Please apply online using the button below for this vacancy number IPE 23-30.

Ausschreibungsnummer: IPE 23-30

Recognized severely disabled persons will be preferred if they are equally qualified.


Personnel Support is provided by:
Ms Schaber
Phone: +49 721 608-25184,

Hermann-von-Helmholtz-Platz 1, 76344 Eggenstein-Leopoldshafen, Germany