Tantalum capacitors lie under the “Electrolytic capacitors.” They are polarized in nature. Tantalum capacitors use tantalum metal as an anode. The metal is then covered with a conductive layer referred to as the cathode. A layer of oxide is also included to act as the dielectric. It is recognized for generating high amounts of capacitance. It has high amounts of capacitance because its dielectric is thin, and they occupy less space. Nowadays, many companies are manufacturing these tantalum capacitors. However, you must be careful because some service providers may not be following the standards of making these tantalum capacitors. You should get tantalum capacitors that you are sure of their quality so they will meet your needs. You also need to know that capacitors can differ from one manufacturer to the other.
What Is A Tantalum Capacitor?
Capacitors with terminals of tantalum metal as the anode are referred to as tantalum capacitors. These tantalum capacitors can be used in DC supplies because of their polarized nature. Before connecting these tantalum capacitors in any circuit, we recommend considering the polarity of their terminals.
How Are Tantalum Capacitors Constructed?
Electrolytic capacitors like tantalum capacitors have an anode, cathode, and electrolytes. An anode made of tantalum metal is isolated from the cathode to allow small leakage DC current to flow through the capacitor. The tantalum metal is ground to a very fine powder that is sintered to a high-temperature pellet. The process forms porous anodes with a high surface area. The high surface area leads to an increase in the capacitance value.
An oxide is then formed on the anode once you apply the positive voltage to the anode terminal.
A dielectric form in the tantalum capacitor which has a thin layer of up to 1.7nm/v. The process is known as anodization. The amount of voltage that will be applied determines the size of the dielectric. Electrolytes are added into the anode through pyrolysis in the case where the tantalum capacitors are solid. The solid tantalum capacitors are put into a special solution, baked in the oven to produce manganese dioxide coat. This process is repeated until thick coatings are formed on both the external and internal surfaces. Once the oxide layer has been formed, it is dipped in an electrolyte solution acting as the cathode. Wet tantalum capacitors use liquid electrolytes compared to the solid tantalum capacitors. Once the dielectric layer is formed, and the anode has been sintered, it is then dipped in liquid electrolytes while enclosed. In wet tantalum capacitors, the electrolytes and the enclosure act as the cathode.
Tantalum capacitors have both positive and negative terminals. The positive terminal is the anode, while the negative terminal stands for the cathode.
Characteristics Of Tantalum Capacitors
- Style- Tantalum capacitors can vary in terms of their style that is the molded style and the microchip style. The microchip style is the newest in the market. Both styles of tantalum capacitors have similar elements and are suitable for reliable applications.
- Temperature response- The linear capacitance changes with a change in temperature.
- Voltage response- Tantalum capacitors so not show capacitance instability when it comes to the applied voltage.
- Aging- The tantalum capacitors are not known to wear out, unlike other capacitors, which decrease capacitance with time.
What Are The Uses Of Tantalum Capacitors?
- Medical Devices
Capacitors play a significant role in medical devices. However, most medical devices are powered by capacitors or batteries. These capacitors can be removed because of their non-biodegradable properties. Capacitors are used in devices such as insulin pumps, pacemakers, and defibrillators. They are also used in wearable and portable devices like electrocardiograms, ultrasonic echo devices, and the blood gas analyzers. They are needed to be highly reliable, provide longer service life, and pass the stringent screening checks. The tantalum capacitors are utilized in most pacemakers and defibrillators. There are multiple reasons that make tantalum capacitors to be used in the manufacture of these devices. These reasons are low resistance hence the self-healing capability, their high capacitance ability, and the inherent reliability.
- Power Supply
Tantalum capacitors are used in power supply in both phones and computers. They are used in the filtration of small voltage rails because of their sizes and their long-term reliability. These tantalum capacitors have to be installed in the right way. The positive leg should be put into the positive hole on the motherboard while the negative one should be put into the negative hole. Some computers have three-legged tantalum capacitors, while others have two. The two-legged tantalum capacitors are easy to find replacements compared to the three-legged.
- Audio Amplifiers
Tantalum capacitors are important compared to electronics when it comes to signal paths, especially in tube amplifiers. Most low signal path tube circuits sound better with tantalum capacitors.
- Electronic Industry
Tantalum capacitors are used in electronic devices because they have high resistance to corrosion. They can also maintain stable electrical and chemical and physical properties under different environmental conditions. They are also used in the semiconductor industry to help prevent diffusion of the copper atoms. They are highly resistant to foreign atoms.
Tantalum capacitors are used in memory devices. The tantalum capacitors have tantalum oxide-based resistance, which helps in fast reading, writing speed, and compatibility with the CMOS process. The tantalum oxide material can provide excellent thermal stability.
- Military Applications
These tantalum capacitors have proven to have a lot of strength and durability; hence they are suitable for military and aerospace applications where they can be used even in severe conditions.
Advantages Of Tantalum Capacitors
These tantalum capacitors provide high levels of volume efficiency compared to other types of capacitors. They are suitable for use in areas where electrolytic is not used.
They are more reliable compared to other capacitors. As long as they are used within their ratings, they can be used for a long time.
Wide temperature range
They can operate between a range of -55C to +125C, which makes them suitable for use in devices for severe environmental conditions.
They are compatible with most modern production methods.