The acoustic lens is placed at the time the transducer is manufactured and cannot be changed. The acoustic lens is generally focused in the mid field rather than the near or far fields. The exact focal length varies with transducer frequency, but is generally in the range of 4-6 cm for a 5 MHz curved linear probe and 7-9 cm for a 3.5 MHz curved transducer.|
Placing the elevation plane (z-plane) focal zone of the acoustic lens in the very near or far field would improve the beam width at precisely those depths. However, this would degrade the beam width to a much greater and unacceptable degree at all other depths.
There are some chemicals in ultrasound couplants that can degrade the acoustic lens, destroy bonding, or change the acoustic properties of the lens. Problematic chemicals include mineral oil, silicone oil, alcohol, surfactants, and fragrances. Fragrance can affect the transducer's acoustic lens or face material by absorption over time into elastomer and plastic materials, thus changing the material's weight, size, density, and acoustic impedance. Surfactants can degrade the bond between the lens and the piezoelectric elements and contribute to the accelerated degeneration of the lens.
See also Retrolenticular Afterglow.
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