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Laser-generated ultrasound with optical fibres using functionalised carbon nanotube composite coatings
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Optical ultrasound transducers were created by coating optical fibres with a composite of carbon nanotubes (CNTs) and polydimethylsiloxane (PDMS). Dissolution of CNTs in PDMS to create the composite was facilitated by functionalisation with oleylamine. Composite surfaces were applied to optical fibres using dip coating. Under pulsed laser excitation, ultrasound pressures of 3.6 MPa and 4.5 MPa at the coated end faces were achieved with optical fibre core diameters of 105 and 200 μm, respectively. The results indicate that CNT-PDMS composite coatings on optical fibres could be viable alternatives to electrical ultrasound transducers in miniature ultrasound imaging probes.
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