Biomedical ultrasound beam forming

Jian Yu Lu, Hehong Zou, James F. Greenleaf

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review

126 Scopus citations


The principles of biomedical ultrasound beam forming control the quality of diagnostic imaging. Beam parameters associated with imaging quality are: (1) lateral and axial resolutions; (2) depth of field; (3) contrast and (4) frame rate. In this paper, we review some of the current beam forming techniques and their principles. We focus on trade-offs among the above four aspects of beam forming and relate them to system parameters such as aperture size, f-number (the ratio between focal length and aperture diameter), central frequency (wavelength), system bandwidth and sidelobes. Methods for steering conventional and limited diffraction beams with array transducers are also reviewed.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)403-428
Number of pages26
JournalUltrasound in Medicine and Biology
Issue number5
StatePublished - 1994


  • Arrays
  • Bandwidth
  • Beam forming
  • Focused beams
  • Gaussian beams
  • Grating lobes
  • Imaging
  • Limited diffraction beams
  • Localized waves
  • Nondestructive evaluation
  • Scan
  • Sidelobes
  • Steering
  • Subluminal
  • Subsonic
  • Superluminal
  • Tissue characterization
  • Ultrasonic transducers
  • Unweighted beams
  • Weighted beams

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Biophysics
  • Radiological and Ultrasound Technology
  • Acoustics and Ultrasonics


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