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    Learning About Polymer Capacitors

    The Learning Circuit | element14 presents |  Project Videos



    Capacitors are a seemingly simple device. In this episode, James goes deep into what makes polymer capacitors different from other capacitor types. Spoiler alert: it is a material found on the cathode side of the capacitor that makes a polymer, a polymer. Additionally, he covers what to consider when trying to switch from a multilayer ceramic capacitor (MLCC) to a polymer.


    Take the Polymer Capacitor Quiz

    Learn more about Passive Components

    Join the Experimenting with Polymer Capacitor Competition

    Related Episode:  The Learning Circuit 42: Replacing MLCCs with Polymer Capacitors


    Finding specifications on capacitors varies by manufacturer. Some provide very detailed, yet complicated, charts in their datasheets while others provide on-line tools. In this video James used a simulation tool from KEMET Electronics called K-SIM and one from Murata called Sim Surfer.


    One downside to these tools is that they are vendor specific. Unlike circuit simulation tools, these "simualtors" are simulating the capacitor's parameters. Many engineers will simply use their design's worst case when trying to get information from these tools. Keep in mind that most will let you export a netlist for use in circuit simulation tools. Unforutantely, those netlists are only valid for the specific conditions that they were generated. For example, if you generate an X5R model at 70°C, you would need a seperate model for 85°C.


    Often over looked, there are application engineers available to help you. One option is to start with your favorite distributor, like Farnell or Newark. If they do not have someone on their support team that can answer your capacitor questions, they can reach out to manufacturers on your behalf to get application specific data. And, of course, you can leave questions below for help from the element14 community!


    Supplemental Content:



    Bill of Material:


    PartManufacturerQuantityBuy KitBuy Kit
    Aluminum Polymers

    560 µF  SP-CAP

    Panasonic1Buy NowBuy Now

    100 µF 25V

    KEMET1Buy NowBuy Now
    EEH-ZE1V151P - 150 µF 35  V (Hybrid)Panasonic1Buy NowBuy Now
    16SVPK680M 680 µF 16 VPanasonic1Buy NowBuy Now
    Tantalum Polymers
    T530X158M2R5ATE005 - 1500 µF KO-CAPKEMET1Buy NowBuy Now
    T530X158M2R5ATE005 - 1500 µF KO-CAPKEMET1Buy NowBuy Now
    T520V107M006ATE007 - 100 µF 6.3 VKEMET1Buy NowBuy Now