As its name suggests,Ceramic Capacitors are capacitors that make use of ceramic materials as the dielectric, which is essential in one. In other words, these materials are able to store energy, albeit a small amount, for a certain period of time. They are usually found in various electronic devices, most of which are what we use on a daily basis. Examples of devices that make use of ceramic capacitors are electric irons, television sets, and of course, the AM/FM Radio, in more specific terms, the receiver for electromagnetic signals. Ceramic Disc Capacitors and Multi-layer Ceramic Capacitor are the two methods of construction of a ceramic capacitor. What are their key differences? When are they best to use? Let’s have a closer look at each.
As its name suggests, these are made in such a way that it forms a small circle, with a ceramic disc that contains silver contacts on both of its sides. The more layers of ceramic/dielectric material, the larger its capacitance. These usually have a capacitance of 10pF to 100 microfarad, and have a diverse voltage rating, from 16 volts to as more than 15 kV. Its 4 main parts include a Protective outer coating usually made of plastic, a dielectric-ceramic disc, an electrode, and of course, the connecting wire which is usually latched onto a bread board or a PCB, Printed Circuit Board.
The MLCC, or the Multi-layer ceramic capacitor makes use of both ferro electric and para electric materials, which are mixed in alternating layers of each. It is then exposed to high temperatures and then sintered, which then yields a favorable ceramic material. It essentially is a set of capacitors connected in parallel, which is the connection which increases capacitance of a material. This is for heavy-duty applications with layers consisting of 500 or even more than that.