Thickness Shear Mode Quartz Oscillator

Application ID: 4707

AT cut quartz crystals are widely employed in a range of applications, from oscillators to microbalances. One of the important properties of the AT cut is that the resonant frequency of the crystal is temperature independent to first order. This is desirable in both mass sensing and timing applications. AT cut crystals vibrate in the thickness shear mode—an applied voltage across the faces of the cut produces shear stresses inside the crystal. This example considers the vibration of an AT cut thickness shear oscillator, focusing on the mechanical response of the system in the frequency domain. Setting up a COMSOL model using the various standards set up to define piezoelectric material orientation is covered in detail (note that the details of the standards are covered in a COMSOL blog post). The effect of a series capacitor on the mechanical resonance is also considered. Adding a series capacitance is a technique frequently employed to tune crystal oscillators.

This model example illustrates applications of this type that would nominally be built using the following products: