SEM Photos comparing C350, a highvoltage nodular powder (left), to C275 flake powder (right).The screen cuts of both flake and nodular powdersare similar; however, the underlying particlemorphologies are quite different. This morphologydifference is the fundamental reason flake powdershave superior high formation voltage performance ascompared to nodular powders.
Advantages of Flake Capacitor Powders
Flake capacitor powders have the inherent potentialto achieve higher CV/g at a given formation voltageas compared to nodular powders. Anodes made fromnodular powder can be modeled as a series of interconnecting spheres or cylinders. Likewise,anodes made from flake powder can be modeled as aseries of interconnecting plates.The theoretical specific capacitance, or CV/g, of these different powder structures can be modeledusing the general formula:C = K
K A / twhere C is the capacitance; A is the effective surfacearea; t is dielectric thickness; K
and K are vacuum permeability and dielectric constant, respectively.The maximum attainable CV/g values of flake andnodular powder (calculated) are shown as a functionof formation voltage in Figure 2. The figure clearlyshows that flake capacitor powders have higher CV/g potential than nodular powders at any givenformation voltage. The focus of current efforts is toachieve the full capability of both flake and nodular materials; however, flake powders inherently havegreater capability and demonstrate improved performance in key areas.
Maximum CV/g values for flake andnodular Ta powders as a function of V
Current nodular and flake product offerings fromCabot Supermetals (CSM) have been evaluated on acomparable basis to understand relative performance.CSM flake products have historically beenmanufactured in Boyertown, PA. Recently, CSM’sflake technology has been successfully implementedon a commercial scale in Aizu, Japan. The Aizu C-275 and the Boyertown C-275 have beendemonstrated to be equivalent by statistical analysisfor virtually all properties. Additionally, CSM Aizuhas developed specific flake products tailored toAsian customers that offer some advantages for thosecustomers’ specific applications. CSM’s current flake products offer the advantages of higher CV/g andlower DC leakage in wet test analysis. Similar resultsare experienced in solid capacitor products based oncustomer feedback.The performance improvement that results fromusing flake powders at high formation voltages isdemonstrated in Figures 3 and 4. These data comparedifferent high voltage nodular powders from theBoyertown and Aizu sites to C-275 (standard flake)and a newly developed C-275A flake product. Figure3 shows the relative CV/g benefit at differentformation voltages. Figure 4 compares the sintering behavior of these powders, showing similar shrinkagefor the flake products as compared to the nodular products. For higher formation voltages or evenlower DC leakage at 150 V
, CSM has the C-255flake product offering.
Capacitance vs. Formation Voltage of highvoltage nodular to flake powders.
Forming Voltage (V)
C a p a c i t a n c e ( u F V / g )
10 Vflake idealnodular ideal
CV/g vs. Ds/Dg Vf=150 V
C V / g ( u F V / g )
CV/g vs. Formation Ts=1600C
C V / g ( u F V / g )