Ceramic resonator

Last updated
Ceramic resonator
A 16MHz ceramic resonator.jpg
A 16 MHz ceramic resonator
Type Electromechanical
Working principle Piezoelectricity, Resonance

A ceramic resonator is an electronic component consisting of a piece of a piezoelectric ceramic material with two or more metal electrodes attached. When connected in an electronic oscillator circuit, resonant mechanical vibrations in the device generate an oscillating signal of a specific frequency. Like the similar quartz crystal, they are used in oscillators for purposes such as generating the clock signal used to control timing in computers and other digital logic devices.

Electronic component basic discrete device or physical entity in an electronic system used to affect electrons or their associated fields

An electronic component is any basic discrete device or physical entity in an electronic system used to affect electrons or their associated fields. Electronic components are mostly industrial products, available in a singular form and are not to be confused with electrical elements, which are conceptual abstractions representing idealized electronic components.

Ceramic inorganic, nonmetallic solid prepared by the action of heat

A ceramic is a solid material comprising an inorganic compound of metal, non-metal or metalloid atoms primarily held in ionic and covalent bonds. Common examples are earthenware, porcelain, and brick.

Electronic oscillator electronic circuit that produces a repetitive, oscillating electronic signal, often a sine wave or a square wave

An electronic oscillator is an electronic circuit that produces a periodic, oscillating electronic signal, often a sine wave or a square wave. Oscillators convert direct current (DC) from a power supply to an alternating current (AC) signal. They are widely used in many electronic devices. Common examples of signals generated by oscillators include signals broadcast by radio and television transmitters, clock signals that regulate computers and quartz clocks, and the sounds produced by electronic beepers and video games.


Ceramic resonators are made of high-stability piezoelectric ceramics, generally lead zirconium titanate (PZT) which functions as a mechanical resonator. In operation, mechanical vibrations induce an oscillating voltage in the attached electrodes due to the piezoelectricity of the material. The thickness of the ceramic substrate determines the resonant frequency of the device.

Resonator device or system that exhibits resonance or resonant behavior, that is, it naturally oscillates at some frequencies, called its resonant frequencies, with greater amplitude than at others

A resonator is a device or system that exhibits resonance or resonant behavior, that is, it naturally oscillates at some frequencies, called its resonant frequencies, with greater amplitude than at others. The oscillations in a resonator can be either electromagnetic or mechanical. Resonators are used to either generate waves of specific frequencies or to select specific frequencies from a signal. Musical instruments use acoustic resonators that produce sound waves of specific tones. Another example is quartz crystals used in electronic devices such as radio transmitters and quartz watches to produce oscillations of very precise frequency.

Piezoelectricity the electric charge that accumulates in certain solid materials in response to applied mechanical stress

Piezoelectricity is the electric charge that accumulates in certain solid materials in response to applied mechanical stress. The word piezoelectricity means electricity resulting from pressure and latent heat. It is derived from the Greek word πιέζειν; piezein, which means to squeeze or press, and ἤλεκτρον ēlektron, which means amber, an ancient source of electric charge. French physicists Jacques and Pierre Curie discovered piezoelectricity in 1880.


A typical ceramic resonator package has either two or three connections. They come in both surface-mount and through-hole varieties with a number of different footprints. The oscillation takes place across two of the pins (connections). The third pin (if present; typically the center pin) is connected to ground. [1] [2]

Lead (electronics) connecting wire or pad within an electronic device; electrical connection consisting of a length of wire or metal pad (SMD) that comes from a device

In electronics, a lead is an electrical connection consisting of a length of wire or a metal pad that is designed to connect two locations electrically. Leads are used for many purposes, including: transfer of power; testing of an electrical circuit to see if it is working, using a test light or a multimeter; transmitting information, as when the leads from an electrocardiograph, or ECG are attached to a person's body to transmit information about their heart rhythm; and sometimes to act as a heatsink. The tiny leads coming off through-hole components are also often called pins.

Ground (electricity) reference point in an electrical circuit from which voltages are measured, a common return path for electric current, or a direct physical connection to the Earth

In electrical engineering, ground or earth is the reference point in an electrical circuit from which voltages are measured, a common return path for electric current, or a direct physical connection to the earth.


Ceramic resonators can be used as the source of the clock signal for digital circuits such as microprocessors where the frequency accuracy is not critical. [3] Quartz has a 0.001% frequency tolerance, while PZT has a 0.5% tolerance.

In electronics and especially synchronous digital circuits, a clock signal is a particular type of signal that oscillates between a high and a low state and is used like a metronome to coordinate actions of digital circuits.

They are used in timing circuitry for a wide array of applications such as TVs, VCRs, automotive electronic devices, telephones, copiers, cameras, voice synthesizers, communication equipment, remote controls and toys. A ceramic resonator is often used in place of quartz crystals as a reference clock or signal generator in electronic circuitry due to its low cost and smaller size.

A signal generator is an electronic device that generates repeating or non-repeating electronic signals in either the analog or the digital domain. It is generally used in designing, testing, troubleshooting, and repairing electronic or electroacoustic devices, though it often has artistic uses as well.

Ceramic filters

Ceramic resonators look similar to ceramic filters. Ceramic filters are frequently used in the IF stages of superheterodyne receivers.

See also

Related Research Articles

Crystal oscillator electronic oscillator circuit

A crystal oscillator is an electronic oscillator circuit that uses the mechanical resonance of a vibrating crystal of piezoelectric material to create an electrical signal with a precise frequency. This frequency is often used to keep track of time, as in quartz wristwatches, to provide a stable clock signal for digital integrated circuits, and to stabilize frequencies for radio transmitters and receivers. The most common type of piezoelectric resonator used is the quartz crystal, so oscillator circuits incorporating them became known as crystal oscillators, but other piezoelectric materials including polycrystalline ceramics are used in similar circuits.

Resonance phenomenon in which a vibrating system or external force drives another system to oscillate with greater amplitude at specific frequencies

In mechanical systems, resonance is a phenomenon that occurs when the frequency at which a force is periodically applied is equal or nearly equal to one of the natural frequencies of the system on which it acts. This causes the system to oscillate with larger amplitude than when the force is applied at other frequencies.

<i>Q</i> factor

In physics and engineering the quality factor or Q factor is a dimensionless parameter that describes how underdamped an oscillator or resonator is, and characterizes a resonator's bandwidth relative to its centre frequency. Higher Q indicates a lower rate of energy loss relative to the stored energy of the resonator; the oscillations die out more slowly. A pendulum suspended from a high-quality bearing, oscillating in air, has a high Q, while a pendulum immersed in oil has a low one. Resonators with high quality factors have low damping, so that they ring or vibrate longer.

Crystal filter electronic filter

A crystal filter is an electronic filter that uses quartz crystals for resonators. Quartz crystals are piezoelectric, so their mechanical characteristics can affect electronic circuits. In particular, quartz crystals can exhibit mechanical resonances with a very high Q factor. The crystal's stability and its high Q factor allow crystal filters to have precise center frequencies and steep band-pass characteristics. Typical crystal filter attenuation in the band-pass is approximately 2-3dB. Crystal filters are commonly used in communication devices such as radio receivers.

Clock generator

A clock generator is an electronic oscillator (circuit) that produces a timing signal for use in synchronizing a circuit's operation. The signal can range from a simple symmetrical square wave to more complex arrangements. The basic parts that all clock generators share are a resonant circuit and an amplifier.

Video modulation is a strategy of transmitting video signal in the field of radio modulation and television technology. This strategy enables the video signal to be transmitted more efficiently through long distances. In general, video modulation means that a higher frequency carrier wave is modified according to the original video signal. In this way, carrier wave contains the information in the video signal. Then, the carrier will "carry" the information in the form of radio frequency (RF) signal. When carrier reaches its destination, the video signal is extracted from the carrier by decoding. In other words, the video signal is first combined with a higher frequency carrier wave so that carrier wave contains the information in video signal. The combined signal is called radio-frequency signal. At the end of this transmitting system, the RF signals stream from a light sensor and hence, the receivers can obtain the initial data in the original video signal.

Voltage-controlled oscillator

A voltage-controlled oscillator (VCO) is an electronic oscillator whose oscillation frequency is controlled by a voltage input. The applied input voltage determines the instantaneous oscillation frequency. Consequently, a VCO can be used for frequency modulation (FM) or phase modulation (PM) by applying a modulating signal to the control input. A VCO is also an integral part of a phase-locked loop.

Piezoelectric sensor

A piezoelectric sensor is a device that uses the piezoelectric effect, to measure changes in pressure, acceleration, temperature, strain, or force by converting them to an electrical charge. The prefix piezo- is Greek for 'press' or 'squeeze'.

Mechanical resonance tendency of a mechanical system to respond at greater amplitude when the frequency of its oscillations matches the systems natural frequency of vibration (its resonance frequency or resonant frequency) than it does at other frequencies

Mechanical resonance is the tendency of a mechanical system to respond at greater amplitude when the frequency of its oscillations matches the system's natural frequency of vibration than it does at other frequencies. It may cause violent swaying motions and even catastrophic failure in improperly constructed structures including bridges, buildings and airplanes. This is a phenomenon known as resonance disaster.

Pierce oscillator electronic oscillator

The Pierce oscillator is a type of electronic oscillator particularly well-suited for use in piezoelectric crystal oscillator circuits. Named for its inventor, George W. Pierce (1872–1956), the Pierce oscillator is a derivative of the Colpitts oscillator. Virtually all digital IC clock oscillators are of Pierce type, as the circuit can be implemented using a minimum of components: a single digital inverter, one resistor, two capacitors, and the quartz crystal, which acts as a highly selective filter element. The low manufacturing cost of this circuit and the outstanding frequency stability of the quartz crystal give it an advantage over other designs in many consumer electronics applications.

Dr. Walter Guyton Cady was a noted American physicist and electrical engineer. He was a pioneer in piezoelectricity, and in 1921 developed the first quartz crystal oscillator.

Quartz clock clock that utilizes a quartz crystal to keep time

A quartz clock is a clock that uses an electronic oscillator that is regulated by a quartz crystal to keep time. This crystal oscillator creates a signal with very precise frequency, so that quartz clocks are at least an order of magnitude more accurate than mechanical clocks. Generally, some form of digital logic counts the cycles of this signal and provides a numeric time display, usually in units of hours, minutes, and seconds.

In signal processing, a filter is a device or process that removes some unwanted components or features from a signal. Filtering is a class of signal processing, the defining feature of filters being the complete or partial suppression of some aspect of the signal. Most often, this means removing some frequencies or frequency bands. However, filters do not exclusively act in the frequency domain; especially in the field of image processing many other targets for filtering exist. Correlations can be removed for certain frequency components and not for others without having to act in the frequency domain. Filters are widely used in electronics and telecommunication, in radio, television, audio recording, radar, control systems, music synthesis, image processing, and computer graphics.

Mechanical filter

A mechanical filter is a signal processing filter usually used in place of an electronic filter at radio frequencies. Its purpose is the same as that of a normal electronic filter: to pass a range of signal frequencies, but to block others. The filter acts on mechanical vibrations which are the analogue of the electrical signal. At the input and output of the filter, transducers convert the electrical signal into, and then back from, these mechanical vibrations.

Microelectromechanical system (MEMS) oscillators are timing devices that generate highly stable reference frequencies, which can measure time. These reference frequencies may be used to sequence electronic systems, manage data transfer, define radio frequencies, and measure elapsed time. The core technologies used in MEMS oscillators have been in development since the mid-1960s, but have only been sufficiently advanced for commercial applications since 2006. MEMS oscillators incorporate MEMS resonators, which are microelectromechanical structures that define stable frequencies. MEMS clock generators are MEMS timing devices with multiple outputs for systems that need more than a single reference frequency. MEMS oscillators are a valid alternative to older, more established quartz crystal oscillators, offering better resilience against vibration and mechanical shock, and reliability with respect to temperature variation.

A piezoelectric microelectromechanical system (piezoMEMS) is a miniature or microscopic device that uses piezoelectricity to generate motion and carry out its tasks. It is a microelectromechanical system that takes advantage of an electrical potential that appears under mechanical stress. PiezoMEMS can be found in a variety of applications, such as switches, inkjet printer heads, sensors, micropumps, and energy harvesters.


  1. ZTT Series Datasheet
  2. AWSCR Series Datasheet
  3. PIC12F675 Data sheet