You are on page 1of 22


Chap 10
Acapacitor(originally known
ascondenser) is apassivetwo-
terminalelectrical componentused to
storeenergyin anelectric field.
A Capacitor displays its total
only when a change in voltage or current is
made in the circuit in which it exists.
A capacitor consists of twoconductors separated
by a non-conductive region called thedielectric.
The dielectric is just anelectrical insulator.
Examples of dielectric media are: glass, air,
paper,vacuum, and even a semiconductordepletion
regionchemically identical to the conductors
When there is apotential difference(voltage)
across the conductors, a staticelectric
fielddevelops across the dielectric, causing
positive charge to collect on one plate and
negative charge on the other plate.Energyis
stored in the electrostatic field.
The energy stored in a capacitor can be returned
to the system
A capacitor is assumed to be self-contained
and isolated, with no netelectric chargeand no
influence from any external electric field.
The conductors hold equal and opposite
charges on their facing surfaces,and the
dielectric develops an electric field.
An ideal capacitor is characterized by a single
constant value (capacitance C) and it is defined
as the ratio of charge Q on each conductor
to the voltageVbetween them.
This is the ratio of theelectric chargeon each
conductor to the potential difference between
Capacitance is a measure of a capacitors
ability to store charge on its plates.
The higher the capacitance of a capacitor,
the greater is the amount of charge stored
on the plates for the same applied voltage.
A capacitor has a capacitance of 1 farad if
1 coulomb of charge ( 6.242 x 10^18) is
deposited on the plates by a potential
difference of 1 volt across its plates.
Fundamental charging circuit
At the instant the switch is closed:
electrons are drawn from the upper Plates of conducting
plate through the resistor to the positive material
terminal of the battery

There will be a
surge current at
first limited by the
magnitude of
resistance present
The level of the flow gap
declines creating a
net positive charge
on the top plate.
Electrons are
replaced being The final
repelled by through This transfer of electrons continues result is a
the conductors on the until the potential difference across net positive
bottom plate the parallel plates is exactly equal charge on
to the battery voltage the top plate
Capacitance is measured in Farads.
The capacitance is greatest when there is
a narrow separation between large areas
of conductor (calledplates)
The dielectric between the plates passes a
small amount ofleakage currentand also
has an electric field strength limit,
resulting in abreakdown voltage, while the
conductors andleads introduce an
Equation for Equation reveals that the greater the
Capacitance charge (Q) on the plates (on the
numerator of the equation), the higher
is the capacitance level (C) for the
same voltage

The higher the

capacitance or applied Q = CV
voltage, the greater the
charge on the plates

Electric field strength between

= volts/m
V (V/m)
d = volts (V) Distance between
= meters (m)plates
Effect of dielectric on the field
distribution between plates of a

Alignment of Electric field

dipoles in the components
dielectric between the plates
of a capacitor with
a dielectric present
Relative permittivity (dielectric
constant) t of various
Dielectric Strength of
some dielectric materials
Example 10.1
a) If 82.4 x 10^14 electrons are deposited on the
negative plate of a capacitor by an applied
voltage of 60v, find the capacitance of the
1st find the number of coulombs of charge
as follow

Then find Capacitance level

= = 22

b) If 40 v are applied across a 470F Capacitor,

find the charge on the plates
Q = CV = (470F) (40V) = 18.8
Capacitor Construction
Components are: conductive plates, separation,
and dielectric The smallest the distance between the
Larger plates permit and plates, the larger is the capacitance.
increased area for the Higher level of permittivity results in
stores higher level of capacitance
General equation for capacitance

Capacitance of a capacitor
with a relative permittivity
of r

Equation for the permittivity of the


Equation for the permittivity of

Example 10.2
If each capacitor in the left column is charged to the type
appearing in the right column, find the new capacitance level, the
other factors remain the same

The area is increased by a

factor of 3area staged the
area & distance are the same, but a
dielectric of waxed paper was added
between the plates
Many changes
happening at the same
Example 10.3
a) Find the capacitance
b) Determine the electric field
strength between the plates if
450 V are applied across the
c) Find the resulting charge on each plate.
Example 10.3

a) Find the capacitance

1st convert the area and the
distance between plates to the SI

b) find the strength of the electric field between the plates if

48v are applied across the plates
Example 10. cont

c) find the charge on each plate

Q = CV = (28.8pF) (48V) =
1.38 nC
Types of capacitors

There is a great variety of differenttypes of

capacitoravailable in the market and their
characteristics and applications, range from
very small delicate trimming capacitors up to
large power metal-can type capacitors used in
high voltage power correction and smoothing
Capacitorsare often classified according to the
material used as the dielectric, with the
dielectrics divided into two broad categories:
bulk insulators andmetal-oxidefilms
(incapacitorsknown aselectrolytic capacitors).
Two general types of
Fixed and variable
Fixed Variable
capacitors capacitors
In general for the same type of construction & dielectric, the
larger the required capacitance, the larger us the physical size
of the capacitor
Variable capacitors: a continuous variation of
capacitance is required for tuning transmitters, receivers
and transistor radios
Fixed Capacitors: is constructed in such manner that it
possesses a fixed value of capacitance which cannot be adjusted
& it is classified according to the type of material used as its
dielectric, such as paper, oil, mica, or electrolyte.
Types of electrolytic

Three ways to increase the area of a


Rolling Stackin Insertin

Homework pg 428
Problem# 3, 5, 7, & 9