Date of Award

Summer 2013

Document Type


Degree Name

Master of Science (MS)


Electrical and Computer Engineering

First Advisor

Joshi, Shrinivas G.

Second Advisor

Schneider, Susan C.

Third Advisor

Lee, Chung H.


This thesis is concerned with the development of a new type of miniature, high efficiency transducer for use in ultrasonic flow meters. The proposed transducer consists of a thin plate of a suitable piezoelectric material on which an inter-digital transducer is fabricated for the generation and detection of plate acoustic waves. When immersed in a fluid medium, this device can convert energy from plate acoustic waves (PAWs) into bulk acoustic waves (BAWs) and vice versa. It is shown that this mode coupling principle can be used to realize efficient transducers for use in ultrasonic flow meters. This transducer can be mounted flush with the walls of the pipe through which fluid is flowing, resulting in minimal disturbance of fluid flow. A prototype flow cell using these transducers has been designed and fabricated. The characteristics of this device have been measured over water flow rates varying from 0 to 7.5 liters per minute and found to be in good agreement with theory. Another attractive property of the new transducers is that they can be used to realize remotely read, passive, wireless flow meters. Details of methods that can be used to develop this wireless capability are described. The research carried out in this thesis has applications in several other areas such as ultrasonic nondestructive evaluation (NDE), noncontact or air coupled ultrasonics, and for developing wireless capability in a variety of other acoustic wave sensors.