Features of Tantalum Capacitor


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Tantalum capacitors are electrolytic capacitors which use tantalum metal as the anode and passivated tantalum pentoxide as the dielectric. They are polarized capacitors with superior frequency and stability characteristics. Their capacitance doesn’t change with age significantly.

Tantalum capacitor

Please note that tantalum capacitors are very sensitive to reverse polarization. If a reverse polarity voltage is applied, the dielectric oxide breaks down, sometimes forming a short circuit. This short circuit may later cause thermal runaway and destruction of the capacitor.

Comparision between different kinds of capacitors

Type Aluminum Electrolytic Multilayer Ceramic Tantalum Film
Dielectric Aluminum Oxide Several Ceramics Tantalum Pentoxide Plastic Film
Advantage Wide array of
breakdown voltages
and capacitances
Good high frequency
characteristics.
No polarity
Small package.
Large, stable
capacitance
High breakdown level
No polarity.
Disadvantage Electrolyte leakage limits life.
Large package size.
Polarity
Capacitance varies depending on voltage and temperature.
Cracking/Chipping possible.
Short-Circuit possible.
There is polarity
Small Capacitance
Less package variety.