Tantalum electrolytic capacitor

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Conductive Polymer Tantalum Electrolytic Capacitors

The Polymer Tantalum Capacitor Division was established in 2022. Compared with the peers, Yongming polymer tantalum capacitors have higher capacity, lower ESR and higher withstand voltage. Products are widely used in digital servers, PCs, ultra-thin chargers, automotive electronics, communications industries, base stations, switches, industrial power modules, military power supplies and other fields. Yongming polymer tantalum capacitors replace imported tantalum capacitors, which have broad prospects and are worth cultivating.


Product Detail

Product Tags

Series Specification Rated Voltage Rated capacitance(uF) Operating temperature range(°C) ESR
TPB19 Stanard 2~75 1.5~470 -55~105 9~300
TPB26 Large capacity 2~75 2~680 -55~105 9~300
TPB14 Ultra-thin 2.5~75 1~220 -55~105 15~300
TPA16 Smaller size 2.5~25 6.8~100 -55~105 35~200

Tantalum electrolytic capacitors are essential components in electronic devices, offering high capacitance and low ESR values in a small package. However, they are also known for their complexity and the potential risks that come with their usage. That's why understanding the ins and outs of tantalum electrolytic capacitors is crucial for any electronic engineer or technician. In this comprehensive guide, we will delve into the world of tantalum electrolytic capacitors, exploring their construction, types, applications, and limitations. We will also provide you with practical tips and tricks for selecting, handling, and troubleshooting tantalum capacitors, ensuring that you get the best performance and reliability out of your electronic circuits. Whether you're a seasoned professional or a newcomer to the field, this guide will equip you with the knowledge and skills you need to master the tantalum electrolytic capacitor. So, let's dive in and explore this fascinating world together! 

How do tantalum electrolytic capacitors work? 

Tantalum electrolytic capacitors are polarized capacitors that use tantalum as the anode material and a conductive polymer or manganese dioxide as the cathode material. The tantalum anode is coated with a thin layer of tantalum pentoxide, which acts as the dielectric material. The cathode material is in contact with the tantalum pentoxide layer through a liquid electrolyte, which provides the ionic conductivity required for the capacitor to function.

When a voltage is applied to the capacitor, a thin layer of the tantalum pentoxide is broken down, allowing current to flow between the anode and cathode. The current flow charges the capacitor, storing energy in the electric field between the anode and cathode. When the voltage is removed, the capacitor discharges, releasing the stored energy. 

Tantalum electrolytic capacitors have a capacitance range of a few microfarads to hundreds of microfarads and can operate at voltages up to several hundred volts. They offer high stability, low leakage current, and low equivalent series resistance (ESR) values, making them suitable for applications that require high precision, low noise, and high frequency operation. 

Types of tantalum electrolytic capacitors

There are two main types of tantalum electrolytic capacitors: solid tantalum capacitors and tantalum wet capacitors.

Solid tantalum capacitors are the most common type of tantalum electrolytic capacitors. They have a solid tantalum anode, a tantalum pentoxide dielectric layer, and a conductive polymer cathode. They are available in various package sizes, ranging from the smallest 0402 size to the largest D size. Solid tantalum capacitors offer high capacitance values, high stability, and low ESR values. However, they are sensitive to overvoltage, reverse voltage, and excessive ripple current, which can cause catastrophic failure.

Tantalum wet capacitors, also known as "wet slug" tantalum capacitors, have a tantalum anode, a tantalum pentoxide dielectric layer, and a liquid electrolyte cathode. They are larger and heavier than solid tantalum capacitors and are mainly used in high-voltage and high-temperature applications. Tantalum wet capacitors offer high capacitance values, high stability, and high reliability. However, they are more expensive than solid tantalum capacitors and have higher ESR values.

Advantages and disadvantages of tantalum electrolytic capacitors

Tantalum electrolytic capacitors offer several advantages over other types of capacitors, such as ceramic, aluminum electrolytic, and film capacitors. 

One of the main advantages of tantalum electrolytic capacitors is their high capacitance density, which allows for high capacitance values in a small package size. This makes them ideal for applications that require high capacitance values and space-saving designs. 

Another advantage of tantalum electrolytic capacitors is their low ESR values, which reduce the power loss and heat generation in the capacitor. This makes them suitable for high-frequency and low-noise applications.

Tantalum electrolytic capacitors also offer high stability, low leakage current, and low temperature coefficient of capacitance, which ensure consistent performance over a wide range of temperatures and frequencies. 

However, tantalum electrolytic capacitors also have some disadvantages that should be taken into consideration. One of the main disadvantages is their sensitivity to overvoltage, reverse voltage, and excessive ripple current, which can cause catastrophic failure. They also have a limited shelf life and may degrade over time due to the formation of tantalum dendrites, which can short-circuit the anode and cathode. 

Applications of tantalum electrolytic capacitors

Tantalum electrolytic capacitors are used in a wide range of applications, from consumer electronics to aerospace and defense equipment. Some of the most common applications include:

- Power supply filtering: Tantalum electrolytic capacitors are used to filter the output of power supplies, reducing the ripple and noise in the voltage. 

- Audio and video circuits: Tantalum electrolytic capacitors are used in audio and video circuits, where low ESR values and high stability are required.

- Timing circuits: Tantalum electrolytic capacitors are used in timing circuits, such as oscillators and filters, where high precision and stability are required.

- Automotive electronics: Tantalum electrolytic capacitors are used in automotive electronics, where high temperature and vibration resistance are required.

- Medical devices: Tantalum electrolytic capacitors are used in medical devices, where high reliability and long life are required.

Tantalum electrolytic capacitor selection criteria 

When selecting a tantalum electrolytic capacitor for a specific application, several factors should be taken into consideration, such as capacitance value, voltage rating, package size, ESR value, and temperature range.

The capacitance value should be chosen based on the requirements of the application, taking into account the ripple current and frequency range. The voltage rating should be higher than the maximum voltage that the capacitor will be exposed to, to prevent overvoltage and reverse voltage.

The package size should be chosen based on the available space and the required capacitance value. The ESR value should be as low as possible to reduce power loss and heat generation in the capacitor. The temperature range should be suitable for the application, taking into account the operating temperature and the temperature range of the environment.  

Tantalum electrolytic capacitor failure mechanisms

Tantalum electrolytic capacitors can fail due to several mechanisms, such as overvoltage, reverse voltage, excessive ripple current, and tantalum dendrite growth.

Overvoltage occurs when the voltage applied to the capacitor exceeds the rated voltage, causing the dielectric layer to break down and the capacitor to fail. Reverse voltage occurs when the polarity of the voltage applied to the capacitor is reversed, causing the dielectric layer to break down and the capacitor to fail.

Excessive ripple current occurs when the capacitor is exposed to a high-frequency AC voltage, causing the capacitor to heat up and the electrolyte to dry out, leading to a decrease in capacitance and an increase in ESR.

Tantalum dendrite growth occurs when the anode and cathode are short-circuited by the growth of microscopic metal filaments, which can cause catastrophic failure. 

Best practices for tantalum electrolytic capacitor usage 

To ensure optimal performance and reliability of tantalum electrolytic capacitors, several best practices should be followed, such as: 

- Avoid exposing the capacitor to overvoltage and reverse voltage by using appropriate voltage protection circuits.

- Avoid exposing the capacitor to excessive ripple current by selecting a capacitor with a suitable ESR value and using appropriate filtering techniques. 

- Avoid exposing the capacitor to high temperatures and humidity by selecting a capacitor with a suitable temperature range and storing it in a dry environment. 

- Avoid exposing the capacitor to mechanical stress and vibration by using appropriate mounting techniques and avoiding excessive shock and vibration.

- Avoid exposing the capacitor to static electricity by using appropriate handling techniques and avoiding direct contact with the capacitor terminals.

Comparison of tantalum electrolytic capacitors to other types of capacitors

Tantalum electrolytic capacitors offer several advantages over other types of capacitors, such as ceramic, aluminum electrolytic, and film capacitors.

Ceramic capacitors offer high stability, low ESR values, and high capacitance density, but they have a limited temperature range and are sensitive to mechanical stress and voltage transients.

Aluminum electrolytic capacitors offer high capacitance values and low cost, but they have a limited lifetime, high ESR values, and are sensitive to temperature and voltage transients.

Film capacitors offer high stability, low ESR values, and high temperature range, but they have a lower capacitance density and are more expensive than tantalum electrolytic capacitors.

Overall, tantalum electrolytic capacitors offer a good balance of capacitance density, stability, ESR values, and temperature range, making them a popular choice for high-performance applications.

Conclusion

Tantalum electrolytic capacitors are essential components in electronic devices, offering high capacitance and low ESR values in a small package. However, they are also known for their complexity and the potential risks that come with their usage. In this comprehensive guide, we have explored the world of tantalum electrolytic capacitors, delving into their construction, types, applications, and limitations. We have also provided you with practical tips and tricks for selecting, handling, and troubleshooting tantalum capacitors, ensuring that you get the best performance and reliability out of your electronic circuits. Whether you're a seasoned professional or a newcomer to the field, we hope that this guide has equipped you with the knowledge and skills you need to master the tantalum electrolytic capacitor.


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