When you hear the word microwave, you probably start thinking about the device in your kitchen that helps warm up or cook your food. However, that uses a microwave resonator, or cavity resonator, to cook your food. Most people have never heard of a microwave resonator, but it is very important and is found is many common items, apart from your well used microwave.
What is a Microwave Resonator?
A microwave resonator is an essential part to many electronic and security devices. These can include everything from satellites to your garage door opener. Anything that communicates through wavelengths (or wirelessly), is most likely using a microwave resonator. However, there are many types of microwave resonators, made from many different types of materials.
This is the type of resonator typically used for alarms, military, space, and telecommunication. You can create them from several different microwave dielectric materials. They are typically a disc-shape and result in a low loss of radiation. This shape is what makes them a dielectric resonator as opposed to a different type of resonator. Another simple use for a dielectric resonator is as a motion detector.
These resonators are for electronics. Typically, the crystal used is quartz because it is very stable and has low loss of radiation. The quartz is cut into a small, thin piece and put between electrodes. This makes for an equivalent electrical circuit and allows for a low frequency stability.
Ceramic resonators are similar to crystal resonators, but can be made in smaller quantities and at a lower cost. They are less accurate than a crystal resonator, but have benefits that the crystal resonator does not. Similar to the crystal resonator, the piece of ceramic used is very small and placed between two electrodes. The thickness of the ceramic, similar to the crystal, determines the resonant frequency. That frequency is what allows it to be used in different electronics. Unlike the crystal resonator, ceramic resonators can be used for other things, such as medical or healthcare equipment.
Saw stands for surface acoustic wave. This wave is used to store and transport information. The wave begins on a piezoelectric crystal. A saw resonator relies on a resonant cavity to create its frequency. Saw resonators are put into electronics, similar to crystal resonators, however they are more commonly found in keyless entry devices, such as car key fobs and garage door openers.
Microwave resonators and they are found in thousands of different common objects and have thousands of uses. One thing is certain, microwave resonators are very helpful in today’s society.