Achieving a good signal-to-noise ratio at increased depths remains a challenge, even for photoacoustic imaging, which stimulates the search for possible contrast improvements. Both double-pulse and pulse burst excitation are shown beneficial for increasing the signal-to-noise ratio or acquiring additional information about the sample. We use the advantage of semiconductor laser diodes offering great opportunities regarding both number of pulses in the burst and inter-pulse delay times to study the dynamics of the pulse burst excitation responses of the single-element PZT transducers, looking for possibilities towards contrast improvement. We concentrate on inter-pulse delay ranges of few hundred nanoseconds and low central frequency transducers as they are mainly used for clinical applications We show that using pulse burst excitation with up to five pulses per burst and transducer-matched inter-pulse delays can increase the registered maximum amplitude, leading to signal-to-noise ratio improvement. The multi-pulse response amplitude increase amounted to 20% of the amplitude of a single-pulse response in the performed measurement.
Maxim Cherkashin, Carsten Brenner, Widodo D. Putro, Benjamin Döpke, Nils C. Gerhardt, and Martin R. Hofmann, "Dynamics of the photoacoustic response of single-element PZT transducers to pulse burst excitation," Proc. SPIE 10064, Photons Plus Ultrasound: Imaging and Sensing 2017, 100641Q (Presented at SPIE BiOS: January 31, 2017; Published: 3 March 2017); https://doi.org/10.1117/12.2253051.
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