Vacancy No. IPE 23-30

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

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.
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

Organizational unit

Institute for Data Processing and Electronics (IPE)

Starting date

as soon as possible

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.
Personnel support is provided by 

Ms Schaber
phone: +49 721 608-25184,

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

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