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Insight - How Crystal Oscillator, Resonator works

Written By: 

Arpit Jain


A quartz crystal resonator plays a vital role in electronics oscillator circuitry. Sometimes mispronounced as crystal oscillator, it is rather a very important part of the feedback network of the oscillator circuitry. Electronics oscillators are used in frequency control application finding their usage in almost every industry ranging from small chips to aerospace.
A quartz crystal is the heart of such type of resonators. Their characteristics like high quality factor (Q), stability, small size and low cost make them superior over other resonators like LC circuit, turning forks, ceramic resonator etc.
The basic phenomenon behind working of a quartz crystal oscillator is the inverse piezo electric effect i.e., when electric field is applied across certain materials they start producing mechanical deformation. These mechanical deformation/movements are dependent on the elementary structure of the quartz crystal.  Quartz is one of the naturally occurring materials which show the phenomena of piezo electricity, however for the purpose of resonator it is artificially developed since processing the naturally occurring quartz is difficult and costly process.
Image of Quartz Crystal Resonator
Fig. 1: Image of Quartz Crystal Resonator
The image above shows a commonly used quartz crystal resonator. It is widely used in electronic oscillators circuitry used in digital circuits and microcontroller/processors.

Metal Casing

Assembly of Resonator Parts
Fig. 2: Assembly of Resonator Parts
The entire assembly is covered in a metal covering as shown in the image above. On removing the metal covering, a thin blanket with net like structure is present to protect the quartz crystal from mechanical damages.
Protective Net Cover Inside Outer Metal Cover
Fig. 3: Protective Net Cover Inside Outer Metal Cover
The above image shows a clear view of protective covering inside the top metal covering.

Crystal Plate

Internal Mechanism of Quartz Crystal Resonator
Fig. 4: Internal Mechanism of Quartz Crystal Resonator
Removing the covering, you can see the quartz crystal plate and how it is connected to the two electrodes.

Electrodes of Resonator

Fig. 5: Electrodes of Resonator



Nice and Thanks


 but anybody pls tell me the further working of the crystall that how it generates clock frequency to the output.....

by using a bandpass limitor will cause it to generate clock pulses

its nice but please give its further working as how it generate clock frequency

splendid work.....


Outstanding work..!


very good work,but it can be more useful with circuit daigram and explanation of its working

thanks engineersgarage for explain to completely we love u EG

incomplete article

It would have been great if you had posted a youtube video of the same.. Can you do that now?

That simply Awesome and Inspiring great work. Thankyou.


need more..


The oscillator is a dc circuit or ac circuit.