Capacitor Types

Different capacitor types are used based on voltage requirement, capacitance, and other properties. A capacitor is formerly termed as a condenser. Capacitor varies extensively depending upon materials used, forms and styles. But every capacitor consists of plates or two electrical conductors and are separated by a dielectric. They are employed in electrical circuits found in various electronic devices.

Types of Capacitors

Capacitors are categorized into 2 mechanical groups. Fixed Capacitors consisting of fixed capacitance value and variable capacitance with variable capacitance value. Beneath are a brief description of various capacitor types and their properties.

  • Ceramic Capacitors
  • Film Capacitors
  • Power Film Capacitors
  • Electrolytic Capacitors

Ceramic Capacitors

A ceramic capacitor is a fixed capacitor consisting of a metal and two alternating layers of ceramic. Here metals act as an electrode and ceramic metal serves as a dielectric. An electric behavior of capacitors can be classified into two classes of stability. That is Class 1 and Class 2. Ceramic capacitors are available in various styles and shapes that is used in unique applications. Some of them include high voltage ceramic power capacitor, multilayer ceramic capacitors, and Ceramic EMI suppression capacitors.

Film Capacitors

Film capacitors or plastic capacitor is a capacitor which consists of insulating plastic film as the dielectric. Electrodes of plastic capacitors are made up of zinc applied on both sides of a plastic firm, appearing as a metallized film capacitors. In metallized film capacitors, when there is a breakdown of dielectric between electrodes, there won’t be any damage caused to the components as metalized construction produces wound capacitor comprising of the large capacitance value.

Power Film Capacitors

Construction techniques and materials that are used in power film capacitors are similar to that of ordinary film capacitor. Polypropylene film is used as a dielectric in capacitor.

Electrolytic Capacitors

In electrolytic capacitor metallic anode coated with oxidized layer used as dielectric. These capacitors are polarized. Electrolytic capacitors are categorized based on their dielectric.

  • Aluminum electrolytic capacitors – aluminum oxide ( dielectric).
  • Tantalum electrolytic capacitors – tantalum pentoxide (dielectric).
  • Niobium electrolytic capacitors – niobium pentoxide ( dielectric).

Common capacitors

Capacitors are mainly divided into two mechanical groups: Fixed capacitors and Variable capacitors. Some common capacitors and their names are mentioned in the table below.

Ceramic capacitors

Aluminum, tantalum and niobium electrolytic capacitors

Film and paper capacitors

Polymer capacitors

Silver mica, glass, silicon, air-gap and vacuum capacitors

Double-layer capacitors


Hybrid capacitors

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