Electrode configuration and electrical dissipation of mechanical energy in quartz crystal resonators

Alpo Välimaa, J. T. Santos, Caspar Ockeloen-Korppi, Mika Sillanpää

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleScientificpeer-review

2 Citations (Scopus)


Mechanical resonators made with monolithic piezoelectric quartz crystals are promising for studying new physical phenomena. High mechanical quality factors (Q) exhibited by the mm-sized quartz resonators make them ideal for studying weak couplings or long timescales in the quantum regime. However, energy losses through mechanical supports pose a serious limiting factor for obtaining high quality factors. Here we investigate how the Q of quartz resonators at deep cryogenic temperatures can be limited by several types of losses related to anchoring. We first introduce means to reduce the mechanical losses by more than an order of magnitude in a no-clamping scheme, obtaining Q-factors of 108 of the lowest shear mode. We can exclude a wide coverage of aluminum metalization on the disk or bond wires as sources of dissipation. However, we find a dramatic reduction of the Q-factor accompanying an electrode configuration that involves strong focusing of the vibrations in the disk center. We propose a circuit model that accounts for the reduced mechanical Q-factor in terms of electrical losses. In particular, we show how the limiting factor for losses can be small ohmic dissipation in a grounding connection, which can be interpreted as electrical anchor losses of the mechanical device.
Original languageEnglish
Article number095014
Pages (from-to)1-9
JournalJournal of Micromechanics and Microengineering
Issue number9
Publication statusPublished - 2018
MoE publication typeA1 Journal article-refereed


  • quartz resonator
  • piezoelectricity
  • anchor losses


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