8 Different Types of Capacitors

Ceramic Capacitors1

These capacitors are dielectric in nature, and are made from ceramic materials. Ceramic capacitors usually have small values as their capacitance. This value usually ranges between 1F to 1µF. Their capacitors have great frequency response. Also, they are never prone to the effects of parasites.

Ceramic capacitors of class 1 provide low loss, accuracy, and high stability. Their nominal value tolerance can fall within the 1% range. Ceramic operators of class 2, come with greater capacitance values. However their thermal stability is lesser and their nominal value tolerances are less sensitive. Ceramic capacitors operating with large power feature a maximum capacity of 100µF. Also, they can deal with much higher voltages, which could get to as high as 100 kV.

MLCC – Multilayer Ceramic Capacitors

These capacitors account for a large number of capacitors utilized on the surface mount printed circuit boards (PCBs) of today. All MLCC are made up of silver palladium that are interleaved or silver electrodes that are plated with nickel covered with tin (plated) and then interweaved. The dielectric type used when manufacturing the MLCCs has an effect on thermal stability and capacitance.

Capacitors that have a calcium zirconate or titanium oxide dielectric feature a lower capacitance. They also have some thermal characteristics that are very stable. When working with PCB applications involving high-frequency circuits that work with time constant, choose the high-temperature, low capacitance MLCC. The MLCCs having Barium titanate dielectric provides the high capacitance required for power supply decoupling and smoothing.

Note that the MLCCs’ high capacitance balances against the dielectric’s properties. Over time, there’s a change in the Barium titanate dielectric with the input of voltage.

MLCC capacitors feature low resistance. Due to this, they encounter few issues with the generated heat by resistance. Also, the capacitors offer a great ripple resistance.

Mica Capacitors

They function like ripple filters and decoupling capacitors in power conversion, coupling, time constant, and resonance circuits. Mica capacitors are built from mica sheets, with both sides being coated with metal that is deposited.

SMT and THM mica capacitors offer great stability, reliability, and precision. Their nominal value tolerances are either +-1%, +-2%, or +-5%.

Plastic Film Capacitors

This type of capacitor utilizes different dielectric materials. These materials segment these components for some specific applications. These include general decoupling, coupling, and filtering. Metalized film capacitors like Mylar, as well as other different polystyrene and polyester capacitors are made up of a thin metal layer, which is deposited in a plastic film connecting each lead. The film foil type of capacitors like the PTFE –polytetrafluoroethylene capacitor utilizes plastic films in separating the two electrodes made with metal foil.

FCN Capacitors

This type of capacitor features a metalized non-inductive polyethylene naphthalate film construction, which offers a similar frequency characteristics and stable temperature that are found in the traditional capacitors made of polyester film. The FCN capacitors usually have low ESR. This is why it yields a high-frequency and superior performance.

Due to this, FCN capacitors function for output filtering, power supply input, signal coupling, and EMI filtering.

Type FCP Polyphenylene Sulfide (PPS) Stacked Metalized Film Capacitors

This type of capacitor has high values for their capacitance. Also, over a wide range of temperatures, their high-frequency response is excellent. Just like FCP capacitors, the Type FCA film capacitors (acrylic) provides values of high capacitance couples with a much better high-frequency filtering. Their bus noise attenuation is excellent too. FCA capacitors are composed of alloy terminals plated with copper and metalized resin film having stacked layers that are non-inductive.

Tantalum Capacitors

These capacitors utilize a thin oxide file on tantalum, which is used like an electrolytic. As the oxide layer covers the tantalum anode, and functions like the dielectric, there is a conductive cathode that envelopes the anode and the dielectric.

Though tantalum capacitors lack the present capacity seen in the aluminum electrolytic capacitors, the tantalum capacitors provide stability, endurance, and a high capacitance between 1µF and 100µF. SMT tantalum capacitors offer similar properties. This also includes a wide range of operating temperatures.

Aluminum Electrolytic Capacitors

This type of capacitor provides a much higher capacitance compared to other types of capacitors. However, their values for nominal tolerance are very wide. Higher values for higher capacitance make way for ripples to be smoothened by electrolytic capacitors whenever it is utilized in power supplies, and they function like coupling capacitors.

As a result of the wide values for tolerance as well as an increase in equivalent series resistance with frequency, the electrolytic capacitors don’t work with high frequencies. Surface mount electrolytic capacitors provide high temperature stability, low impedance and high capacitance.

Asides from this, these SMT electrolytic capacitors can resist vibration properly on non-stationary PCBs – printed circuit boards.

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How do Capacitors Work?

capacitor on pcb

Capacitors are well-known passive components found in circuits. They are similar to the resistors. Capacitors help in storing electrical charge. They also offer different options. This depends on the design of a circuit. The capacitance has to do with the measure of the energy or charge, which can be carried by the capacitor.

When capacitors are in their basic form, they are made of two plates, with an insulator

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1 comment

  • I cannot find any info on what metal is used in different capacitors.I have many different types and brands of them and am looking for which kinds are worth money to scrap.Are there any brands of old ceramic,metalized foil,or others that contain palladium or silver other than mlccs?I am unsure what the long ceramic couplers contain in many brands of electronic organs from 1960s-1980s and have many that have 8-10legs as well as the round ceramic two leg capacitors and am wondering if they have scrap value?

    Eric Ryan

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