What are the different types of capacitor?


Quick Answer

The different types of capacitor include ceramic, electrolytic , film, supercapacitors and glass capacitors. The main difference between the types is the material used to make the dielectric.

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Full Answer

Despite the many different types that are available, most capacitors work in similar ways. Although the dielectric accounts for most of the differences, variations in polarization also set apart some of the different types of capacitor.

  • Ceramic capacitor - this is the most common type of capacitor because they are both cheap to manufacture and they are reliable. They are made with porcelain or ceramic discs, are non-polarized and are used in various different industries.
  • Electrolytic capacitors - in an electrolytic capacitor, one of the electrodes is metallic while the second is a semi-liquid electrolyte solution. It is polarized and is used for low frequency applications.
  • Film capacitors - the dielectric in a film capacitor is made with a plastic film. They are non-polarized. Variations include polystyrene film capacitors and polyester film capacitors.
  • Supercapacitors - supercapacitors do not have a conventional dielectric. They have a high capacitance and are also known as ultracapacitors.
  • Glass capacitors - this is an expensive but high performing type of capacitor. The dielectric is made using glass. They are used in RF and safety applications.
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