Periodic composite ultrasonic transducers oer many advantages but the periodic pillar architecture can give rise to unwanted modes of vibration which interfere with the piston like motion of the fundamental thickness mode. In this paper, viscoelastic loss is incorporated into a three dimensional plane wave expansion model (PWE) of these transducers. A comparison with experimental and nite element data is conducted and a design to damp out these lateral modes is investigated. Scaling and regularisation techniques are introduced to the PWE method to reduceill-conditioning in the large matrices which can arise. The identication of the modes of vibration is aided by examining proles of the displacements, electrical potentialand Poynting vector. The dispersive behaviour of a 2-2 composite transducer with high shear attenuation in the passive phase is examined. The model shows thatthe use of a high shear attenuation ller material improves the frequency band gap surrounding the fundamental thickness mode.