1-3 Dice & Fill Composites

Smart Material manufactures 1-3 composites using the standard Dice & Fill method, which is the current industry standard for frequencies above 1MHz.

1-3 Dice & Fill piezo composites are prepared by dicing a piezoceramic plate into an orthogonal array and cutting 80%-90% of the plate thickness. The pitch (distance between rods) must be very small, typically near 100µm at 5 MHz resonance frequency to avoid lateral modes and grating lobes.

The kerfs or trenches are filled with epoxy or other polymer material. After the interstitial material has cured the uncut side of the ceramic is grinded down to the rod structure and the thickness is adjusted to the desired resonance frequency. This yields a regular pixel or rod distribution required for phased array ultrasound transducers.

Typical Ultrasound Applications for 1-3 D&F Composites

  • NDT, Non-Destructive Testing
  • Medical Ultrasound
  • Flow Control and Measurement
  • NDT phased array transducer

Compared with the Arrange & Fill production method for our 1-3 random and regular fiber composites, the Dice & Fill method is generally more expensive than comparable 1-3 fiber composites due to additional production steps and scaleability for volume quantities

Smart Material is typically manufacturing Dice & Fill standard composites for frequencies between 500kHz and 15MHz with maximum sizes of 75mm by 75mm. Available fill factors range from 25% up to 65% and available PZT materials are Navy Type I, Type II (standard), Type III and Type VI (standard). Single crystal materials, i.e. PMN-PT are also available on request.

Smart Material offers various standard epoxy and polyurethane systems as the interstitial material, often called filler. The available filler materials allow for operational temperatures between 95°C and 130°C. Smart Material's machining equipment and capacities also allow the manufacturing of curved 1-3 Dice & Fill piezo composites as well as complex array structures and interconnects.

1-3 D&F Composite product specifications and selections

Resonance Frequencies500kHZ up to 15MHz
Frequency Pixel Size Fill Factor Dimensions mm² Availability
500kHz - 1MHz 400 - 800µm 25% - 65% max. 75 x 75 4-6 weeks
1MHz - 2MHz 150 - 350µm 25% - 65% max. 75 x 75 4-6 weeks
2MHz - 6MHz 100 - 200µm 25% - 65% max. 75 x 75 4-6 weeks
6MHz - 8MHz 75 - 100µm 35% - 65% max. 35 x 35 4-6 weeks
8MHz - 15MHz 40 - 75µm 50% - 60% max. 30 x 30 4-6 weeks
Frequency Tolerances:
± 10% typical
± 5% on request
Fill Factors25% up to 65%
Fill Factor Frequency Availability
25% to 65% 500kHz to 6MHz 4-6 weeks
35% to 65% 6MHz to 8MHz 4-6 weeks
50% to 65% 8MHz to 15MHz 4-6 weeks
PZT MaterialsPZT Navy Type I, II, III, VI
Single Crystal PMN-PT
PZT Material Di-electric Constant Frequency Availability
PZT Navy Type I, SP4 1200 - 1300 500kHz to 10MHz Request
PZT Navy Type II, 5A 1850 - 2000 500kHz to 10MHz 4-6 weeks
PZT Navy Type II, 5A HD ~ 1900 10MHz to 15MHz Request
PZT Navy Type III, PZT8 ~ 1050 500kHz to 10MHz Request
PZT Navy Type VI, 5H 3200 - 3400 500kHz to 10MHz 4-6 weeks
PZT Navy Type VI, 5H HD 3450 - 3900 10MHz to 15MHz 4-6 weeks
Single Crystal PMN-PT 4000 - 7500 2MHz to 15MHz Request
Acoustic Impedance8.5 MRayl to 22 MRayl
Typical Fill Factors Acoustic Impedance MRayl
25% 8.5 MRayl
35% 12 MRayl
50% 17 MRayl
65% 22 MRayl
Available ElectrodesCuSn (Copper with Tin flash layer)
Au (Gold)
Electrode Material Frequency Electrode thickness
CuSn 500kHz to 8MHz ~ 2µm
Au 500kHz to 15MHz ~ 1µm
DimensionsMax. 75mm by 75mm,
various round diameters
Maximum Dimensions Frequency Availability
75mm by 75mm 500kHz to 6MHz 4-6 weeks
35mm by 35mm 6MHz to 8MHz 4-6 weeks
30mm by 30mm 8MHz to 15MHz 4-6 weeks
Mechanical Tolerances:
< 6mm ± 0.1mm
< 30mm ± 0.2mm
> 30mm ± 0.3mm
Available Diameters
∅ in mm ∅ in inch ∅ in mm ∅ in inch
3.18 mm 0.125 '' 12.70 mm 0.500 ''
5.12 mm 0.202 '' 14.20 mm 0.559 ''
5.18 mm 0.204 '' 15.90 mm 0.626 ''
5.68 mm 0.224 '' 17.50 mm 0.689 ''
6.00 mm 0.236 '' 18.00 mm 0.709 ''
6.50 mm 0.256 '' 19.05 mm 0.750 ''
8.20 mm 0.323 '' 20.00 mm 0.787 ''
9.00 mm 0.354 '' 24.00 mm 0.945 ''
9.50 mm 0.374 '' 25.40 mm 1 ''
10.00 mm 0.394 '' 30.00 mm 1.181 ''
10.20 mm 0.402 '' 35.00 mm 1.378 ''
12.00 mm 0.472 '' 37.7 1.48 ''
Coupling Coefficient kt0.61 to 0.68 for standard PZT materials,
> 0.75 for single Crystal
Operational TemperaturesTypical 95°C, 130°C on request
Interstitial MaterialsVarious Epoxy systems