capacitor ceramic vs electrolytic.

Thread Starter

Pepe333

Joined Feb 12, 2018
56
Hi all!,
Is there any pro/con from use ceramic or electrolytic capacitors?
I know ceramic is better for high frecuencys, but if I have a circuit with a 10uF electrolytic capacitor and I change it for a ceramic one, ¿what could be the problem?
 

OBW0549

Joined Mar 2, 2015
2,987
I know ceramic is better for high frecuencys, but if I have a circuit with a 10uF electrolytic capacitor and I change it for a ceramic one, ¿what could be the problem?
The only downside I can see to using a ceramic capacitor in place of an electrolytic is if temperature stability is an issue. A 10 μF capacitor in ceramic is going to be made with a high-K dielectric having a Y5V or Z5U temperature characteristic, and these have very large temperature coefficients. In a circuit where temperature stability of capacitance is important, they might not be a good choice.

This technical article at Digi-Key gives the details...

EDIT: everything you could possibly want to know about electrolytic capacitors, and more, here.
 
Last edited:

Thread Starter

Pepe333

Joined Feb 12, 2018
56
The only downside I can see to using a ceramic capacitor in place of an electrolytic is if temperature stability is an issue. A 10 μF capacitor in ceramic is going to be made with a high-K dielectric having a Y5V or Z5U temperature characteristic, and these have very large temperature coefficients. In a circuit where temperature stability of capacitance is important, they might not be a good choice.

This technical article at Digi-Key gives the details...

EDIT: everything you could possibly want to know about electrolytic capacitors, and more, here.
Excellent article, OBW0549!
 

NCSailor

Joined Jun 15, 2013
33
I am surprised with some of these answers. First, in today's world where cheap seems to trump good, the fact that 10 uF electrolytics are still used at 5-10 times the cost should hint that all might not be equal.

While some posters mentioned temperature coefficients and esr which are possible consequences (or benefits in the case of esr) of going all ceramic, the major concern is the reduction in capacitance in ceramic caps as dc bias increases. It would not be difficult to find a quality 10uF X7R ceramic that measured less than 2uF capacitance when biased with 15VDC or so.

As some alluded to, the answer to the OP's question is significantly dependent on the actual circuit.

See https://pdfserv.maximintegrated.com/en/an/TUT5527.pdf for some info or see the attached spec sheet (DC Bias chart on second page).
Graham
 

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