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MLCC capacitor – electronic component for high frequency and energy storage applications


Without overstating it, multilayer ceramic capacitors (MLCC capacitor for short) are perhaps one of the most versatile electronic components on the market today. They have been in high demand for decades due to their impressive characteristics, such as high voltage tolerance, low ESR, high current density, and stability.

What is an MLCC capacitor?

MLCC stands for the multi-layer ceramic capacitor. It is a non-solid electrolytic capacitor with a cylindrical shape. The capacitor is often used in the PCB industry because of its low profile and small size, which makes it ideal for space-saving applications.

What’s the structure of the MLCC capacitor?

What-is-a-MLCC-capacitorThe multilayer ceramic capacitor (MLCC capacitor) is a dielectric capacitor with a metal end plate, which consists of a stack of alternating layers of ceramic and metal. The metal plate makes contact with the top surface of the ceramic dielectric, while the bottom metal plate makes contact with a conductive ground plane on the PCB.

The metal layer provides the most capacitance value and acts as one capacitor electrode. The other electrode is formed by an etched pattern on the top surface of the ceramic dielectric material, which acts as a dielectric between two electrodes.

What are the benefits of using a multi-layer ceramic capacitor?

1. The multi-layer ceramic capacitor is the best material for high frequency and high voltage applications such as mobile phones, laptops, tablets, monitors, and power supplies.

2. The multi-layer ceramic capacitor has a lower ESR (equivalent series resistance), which means it can carry more current than other capacitors of the same size and voltage rating.

3. The multi-layer ceramic capacitor has better temperature stability than other capacitors. This makes it ideal for use in high-temperature environments such as power supplies or battery charging circuits.

4. The multi-layer ceramic capacitor can withstand higher voltages without breaking down compared with other types of capacitors.

Where are MLCC capacitors used?

MLCC capacitor is used in all kinds of electronic devices. It is found in power supplies, radio frequency circuits (RF PCB), switching regulators, and other applications requiring a low cost of high-quality capacitors.

MLCC capacitor can be used to store energy in many different types of circuits. They are used extensively in fluorescent lighting ballasts, which hold power during the flyback phase of operation. They are also used to store energy in car batteries.
Where-are-MLCC-capacitors-usedThe main advantage of using MLCC capacitor instead of other types is that they can be manufactured on an automated assembly line. This means they can be produced quickly and cheaply compared to different capacitors.
Another advantage is that MLCC capacitor offer very high values for their size and weight.

This makes them ideal for mobile applications where space is limited or weight must be kept low such as in cars or airplanes where weight must be kept down so fuel consumption can be reduced.

MLCC is also used in a wide range of applications such as:
• Battery backup systems
• Automotive industry, especially in electronic fuel injection systems
• Power supplies for computers and consumer electronic products, e.g., mobile phones, MP3 players, etc.
• Communications equipment, e.g., satellite receivers and transmitters, pagers, mobile phones, etc.

How are MLCC capacitors made?

MLCC capacitor is made by depositing alternating layers of metal and ceramic on a substrate. The capacitor is sintered or fired at high temperatures to harden the material and give it a permanent shape.

The dielectric material used in MLCC capacitor is barium titanate (BaTiO3) or strontium titanate (SrTiO3). These materials have very high dielectric constants (k), which means they can store large amounts of electrical charge per unit volume.

The metal electrodes are usually aluminum, tantalum, or niobium oxides – all of which are good conductors of electricity. The thickness of each layer depends on the required capacitance value and the desired voltage rating of the component.

How does a multilayer ceramic capacitor work?

Multiple layers of ceramic oxide materials form the dielectric of an MLCC capacitor. These layers are separated by thin metal electrodes (usually aluminum). When the capacitor is energized, electrons move through this structure from one electrode to another, creating an electric field in between. The voltage across each layer varies with its distance from the center electrode. The electrical properties of each layer determine its capacitance value and polarity.

How do I choose a ceramic capacitor?

There are several things to consider when choosing a ceramic capacitor.

• The first is the voltage rating, which can be found on the capacitor’s datasheet. This rating indicates how much voltage it can withstand before breaking down and failing.

• The second consideration is leakage current, which measures how much electricity flows through the capacitor when it should be off (in standby mode).

• The last thing to look at is capacitance, or how much charge it can hold.

FAQ about MLCC capacitor


Do MLCC capacitors have polarity?

No, there is no polarity associated with MLCC capacitors. The purpose of the terminals on a capacitor is to provide an electrical connection between two conductive plates within the device. Sometimes, one terminal may be a metal foil tab, and the other terminal may be a solderable surface. Both terminals may be soldered to pins on a PCB or terminal block in other cases.

How can you tell if a capacitor is ceramic?

Ceramic capacitors are used in many electronic applications because they have high-temperature stability, good frequency characteristics, and small size. The ceramic capacitors exhibit low capacitance values, which is why they are used for decoupling applications. In addition to these characteristics, ceramic capacitors are also easy to use and cheap.

A ceramic capacitor is a non-polarized capacitor with a dielectric made from a ceramic material. This type of capacitor does not have any polarity and can be used in any orientation. There are two common types of ceramic capacitors: the disc type and the cylinder type.


The multilayer ceramic capacitor (MLCC) is a widely used and versatile component in numerous electronic applications, including telecom, computing, and automotive markets. Its superior high-frequency performance and reliability—as well as cost savings due to its smaller size compared with aluminum electrolytic capacitors—have further solidified the need for MLCC in many applications.

But as the requirements for new products and applications continue to grow, electronic components manufacturers are seeking new processes that will help increase their production capacity while ensuring consistent quality.



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