Analysis of aging of piezoelectric crystal resonators.
Aging of piezoelectric (quartz crystal) resonator has been identified as one of the most important quality control problems of quartz crystal products. Aging is defined as frequency change with time. Aging in quartz resonators can be due to several sources: mass transfer due to contamination inside the resonator enclosure, stress-strain in the resonator blank, quartz defect, etc. In this study, the stress-strain effect, which has been believed as a dominant factor contributing to aging, is studied. The stress-strain effect is caused mainly by the long-term viscoelastic properties of bonding adhesive that attach quartz crystal plate to the ceramic base package. With the available accelerating testing method under elevated temperatures, the stress-strain induced aging in the quartz crystal resonators can be investigated. Because of the miniaturized size of the resonator, a digital image analysis method called image intensity matching technique (IIMT) is applied to obtain deformation patterns in the quartz blank due to thermal load. Our preliminary results showed that the unsymmetric thermal deformations may be a dominant contributing factor to aging. For simulation purposes, finite-element analysis is used to investigate the deformation patterns (i.e., stress-strain distributions) and corresponding natural frequency shift in the piezoelectric resonators. The viscoelastic behavior of mounting adhesives is incorporated into the analysis to show the dominant effect of long-term behavior of stress-strain developed in the crystal resonators. Also, some geometrical aspects-such as uneven mounting supports due to distances, volumes and heights of the adhesives-are simulated in the model.