Spectral Shift Originating from Non-linear Ultrasonic Wave Propagation and Its Effect on Imaging Resolution

Ehsan Jafarzadeh, Mohammad H. Amini, Anthony N. Sinclair
Ultrasound in Medicine & Biology2021
An amplitude-dependent downshift in the fundamental wave spectrum of a propagating ultrasonic pulse caused by non-linear wave propagation is described. The effects of non-linearity and the associated downshift on spatial resolution are also studied. The amounts of downshift and spatial resolution are extracted from the numerically simulated beam profile based on the KZK equation. Results for a 25-MHz transducer reveal that non-linear effects can lead to 58% additional downshift in the centre frequency of a pulse compared with a linear case with downshift caused only by attenuation. This additional downshift causes about 50% degradation in axial resolution. However, as the beam becomes narrower from the non-linear effects, the overall effect of non-linearity still leads to improved lateral resolution (≤26%). Therefore, as non-linearity increases with wave pressure, it is concluded that the increase in source pressure improves lateral resolution and degrades axial resolution.
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