Take a small tour to your kitchen, did you ever notice the ceramic cookwares or utensils have some commonality with glass, plastic, mica or even the air? Did you ever think about building an electronic component out of them? Probably not! Because the property of these materials is often overlooked.
What is dielectric?
A dielectric is a material which has poor electrical conductivity but inherits an ability to store an electrical charge(due to Dielectric polarization). Thus exhibiting only displacement current making it ideal to build a capacitor; to store and return electrical energy.
What is Dielectric Constant?
Dielectric Constant of a substance can be defined as:
The ratio of the permittivity of the substance to the permittivity of the free space
It expresses the extent to which a material can hold electric flux in it.
Dielectric Constant Formula
It is mathematically expressed as:
- κ is the dielectric constant
- 𝜺 is the permittivity of the substance
- 𝜺0 is the permittivity of the free space
Dielectric Constant Units
As it is the ratio of two like entities, it is a unitless, dimensionless quantity.
Dielectric Constant Symbol
The relative permittivity of a dielectric substance is also called a Dielectric Constant, expressed using Greek letter kappa ‘κ’.
You may also want to check out these topics given below!
- Electric field lines-Properties
- Dielectric Polarization in Polar and Nonpolar Material
- Effect of Dielectric on Capacitance
- Dielectric Material And Dipole Moment
Theory behind Dielectric Constant
This is a prime parameter to characterizes a capacitor. A capacitor is an electronic component designed to store electric charge. This is widely built by sandwiching a dielectric insulating plate in between the metal conducting plates. The dielectric property plays a major role in the functioning of a capacitor.
The layer made up of dielectric material decides, how effectively the capacitor can store the charge. Picking the right dielectric material is crucial. Thus, we can also define it as ‘the ratio of the electric field without a dielectric(E0) to the net field with a dielectric(E).’
Greater the value of κ more charge can be stored in a capacitor.
In the capacitor, the capacitance is given by C = κC0
Thus, filling the gap between the plates completely by dielectric material will increase its capacitance by the factor of dielectric constant value.
In the parallel plate capacitor, the capacitance is given by:
- C is the capacitance of the parallel plate capacitor.
- κ is the dielectric constant.
- 𝜺0 is the permittivity of the free space.
- A is the area of parallel conducting plates
- D is the separation between parallel conducting plates
The capacitance value can be maximized by increasing the value of the dielectric constant and by decreasing the separation between the parallel conducting plates.
Dielectric Constant Value
Thus, the value of the dielectric constant is crucial in building various electronic components. The following table gives some typical values of Dielectric Constants:
|Dielectric Materials||Dielectric Constant Value|
|Dielectric Constant of vacuum||1.00|
|Dielectric Constant of air||1.00059|
|Dielectric Constant of water||80|
|Dielectric Constant of paper||3.6|