Different Types of Capacitor


There different types of capacitor out which few named here electrolytic, ceramic, tantalum, polyester film etc.

Capacitor Symbol
Symbol Capacitor

capacitor is a passive two-terminal electronic component that temporarily stores electrical energy. This improves battery life as well. Capacitor also used for filtration of signal.

Capacitor is just a two conductors separated by an insulator means dielectric, if the dielectric is ceramic it will be ceramic capacitor and if it is tantalum dielectric then it is tantalum capacitor. General we use electrolytic and ceramic capacitor.

What is a polarized capacitor?

All electrolytic capacitors (e-caps) are polarized capacitors whose anode (+) is made of a particular metal on which an insulating oxide layer formed by anodization, acting as the dielectric of the electrolytic capacitor. Polarity means anode (+) and cathode ()

1. Electrolytic Capacitor

Electrolytic capacitors are polarized. You can see the negative sign (–) in-front of a terminal and the other terminal is anode(+), while connecting it to a circuit you need to keep in mind the polarity of terminals of the capacitor.  (The electrolytic and tantalum capacitors are polarized)

Electrolytic Capacitor 4700 uF
Electrolytic Capacitor 4700 uF

How to find the capacitance by rating –

You can see here 4700uF (micro Farad) and can stand with a voltage of 16 V.

2. Ceramic Capacitor

Ceramic capacitors are not polarized, there is no any terminal is anode (+) or cathode (–).

Ceramic Capacitor 102
Ceramic Capacitor 102

How to calculate the capacitance of ceramic capacitor

For example rating is 102 of a capacitor then capacitance is equals to

Ceramic Capacitor 102
Ceramic Capacitor 102


Ceramic 102 value
Ceramic 102


Ceramic Capacitor Tolerance Codes C J K M D Z
Ceramic Capacitor Tolerance Codes

NOTE: Voltage Rating – The voltage that you see with capacitors is the maximum voltage you can safely apply to the capacity or before you start to run the risk of the capacitor physically breaking down. Sometimes just gets hot, sometimes this happens as an explosion or sometimes fire.

Capacitors act like a short circuited at high frequencies and an open circuited at low frequencies.

By the Capacitive reactance formula:

Xc = 1 / 2 π F C


Xc → reactance in ohms (W) 

f → frequency in hertz (Hz)

C → capacitance in farads (F)

If capacitor act as open circuit for DC or low frequency signals then how it can be used in DC circuits?

Here are two cases:


1. Capacitor in series with signal

2. Capacitor in parallel with signal

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