Ceramic Capacitor

Ceramic capacitors are the common types of capacitors used in most of the electrical instruments as they are more reliable and cheaper to manufacture.

These capacitors consist of ceramic or porcelain discs and are said to exist in a non-polarized form which is used in various types of industries. Ceramic material is known to be an excellent dielectric because of its poor conductivity and also an efficient supporter of the electrostatic fields.

Ceramic Capacitors

Ceramic Capacitors

What is Ceramic Capacitor?

A fixed value type of capacitor where the ceramic material within the capacitor acts as a dielectric is the Ceramic Capacitor. This capacitor consists of more number of alternating layers with ceramic and also a metal layer which acts as an electrode. The composition of this ceramic material in this capacitor tells about the electrical behaviour along with its applications. We can define ceramic capacitor as:

A fixed-value capacitor where the ceramic material acts as the dielectric.

What is a ceramic material?

A ceramic material is an inorganic, non-metallic, often crystalline oxide, nitride or carbide material. Example: carbon and silicon.

Ceramic Capacitor Types

The two most common types of Ceramic Capacitor are:

  • Ceramic Disc Capacitors – These are often used as safety capacitors in electromagnetic interference suppression applications.
  • Multi-layered Ceramic Capacitors – Ceramic capacitors with multilayer style (MLCC) are widely used and produced capacitors applied in the electronic equipment. These capacitors are manufactured coming in different styles and shapes and are used for RFI/EMI suppression systems, and also as feed-through capacitors along with larger dimension systems as a power capacitor in transmitters.

Ceramic capacitors are developed in very small sizes and they exhibit very low maximum rated voltage. They are said to be non-polarized, ie. can be safely connected to an AC source. Ceramic capacitors are said to deliver greater frequency responses due to the reason that they exhibit low parasitic effects such as inductance and resistance.

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Characteristics of Ceramic Capacitors

Ceramic capacitors exhibit various characteristics as given below:

Accurate tolerances and precision

Ceramic capacitors are mainly used for high stability performances and wherein devices with low losses. These devices provide very accurate results and also the capacitance values of these capacitors are stable with respect to the applied voltage, frequency and temperature.

Advantages of small size

In cases of packing, densities for high components are required, these devices are of great advantage when compared with the other capacitors. For example, a  “0402” multi-layered ceramic capacitor measures about 0.4 mm x 0.2 mm.

High power and high voltage

The ceramic capacitors are manufactured in such a way so that they can survive higher voltages and such capacitors are power ceramic capacitors. These capacitors are much larger than the PCBs. They also have specialized terminals used for safer connection of high voltage supply. The Power ceramic capacitors tolerate voltages ranging from 2kV- 100 kV.

Applications and Uses of Ceramic Capacitor

The applications of ceramic capacitors include:

  • Transmitter stations
  • Induction furnaces
  • High voltage laser power supplies
  • Power circuit breakers
  • High-density applications
  • Printed circuit boards

These capacitors are also used as a general-purpose capacitor and are also used across the brushes of the DC motors in order to minimize the RF noise.

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