Quartz Crystals in Theory and Practice

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  • Author: Christian Büchler & Mathias Laskus

Quartz crystals can be found in almost every electronic device with integrated time measurement, as for example watches, smartphones or microwaves. In the field of digital data processing, quartz crystals can be found even more frequently. Wireless data transmission applications are particularly demanding, since the highest frequency accuracy is required for smooth communication between transmitter and receiver. Besides, quartz crystals set the “heartbeat” in numerous components in automotive electronics. So, putting all this together it’s safe to say that life in the modern digitalized world without quartz crystals is unthinkable. Despite its central importance, the quartz crystal is often characterized as a C-component and thus only rarely catches the attention of most engineers. The majority see this as a standard component that will always work in its application. We are all the more pleased that you, dear reader, have decided to delve a little deeper into the subject of quartz theory!

On the following pages you can expect a detailed introduction to the world of quartz crystals. Together, we will first deal with the physical principles surrounding the piezoelectric effect and take a close look at quartz production. Then we will devote ourselves in detail to our core topic: the different electronic quartz parameters and the optimal design of an oscillator circuit based on a quartz crystal.

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