Colpitts Oscillator

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In this LC oscillator invented by Edwin H. Colpitts in 1927, two capacitors in series along with an inductor, combined with a transistor to provide feedback, sustain the oscillations. This oscillator can show chaotic behavior, which is of interest in applications such as secure communications.

Contributed by: Enrique Zeleny (June 2013)
Open content licensed under CC BY-NC-SA



The system of equations describing the Colpitts oscillator can be reduced to




where , , and are parameters that depend on the values of the capacitances and the inductances that determine the frequency of oscillation, as well as on a nonlinear resistance, voltages, and the currents of the transistor.


[1] Wikipedia. "Colpitts Oscillator." (Apr 13, 2013)

[2] H. B. Fotsin and J. Daafouz, "Adaptive Synchronization of Uncertain Chaotic Colpitts Oscillators Based on Parameter Identification," Physics Letters A 339(3–5), 2005 pp. 304–315. doi:10.1016/j.physleta.2005.03.049.

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