An ultrasonic transducer is a device that converts ultrasound to electrical signals, and vice versa. Many are composed of piezoelectric material, and can consist of one active element that produces sound waves, or several elements arranged in an array. Ultrasonic transducers are used in all artificial efforts to produce or detect ultrasound.
Ultrasonic transducers in medicine
Most clinical ultrasound transducers are optimized for broadband pulses with center frequencies on the order of a few megahertz (MHz). The looks and characteristics of transducers used in medical ultrasonic imaging depend on the application and area of the body being imaged. For example, transducers used in cardiac imaging must be designed so that the operator can avoid aiming the ultrasonic beam at the ribs and lungs, in which sound frequencies used to image the heart do not propagate well. Ultrasonic probes designed for bodily orifices must be shaped carefully so so as not to inflict internal damage when inserted.