A brief introduction to ceramic capacitors

Ming Jen Pan, Clive Randall

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

383 Scopus citations


The ceramic capacitor is the most widely used passive component in modern electronics. In 2008, it accounted for ∼90% of the capacitor market in part volume and ∼40% in value [1]. The multilayer ceramic capacitor (MLCC), characterized by its high capacitance and compactness, is the dominant form of ceramic capacitor. With hundreds of MLCCs used in typical electronic devices such as cell phones and computers, approximately 1.5 trillion pieces of MLCC were manufactured in 2009, and in excess of 2 trillion pieces will be manufactured in 2011 [1]. In the meantime, the volumetric efficiency (capacitance per volume) continues to increase at a rate that exceeds Moore's Law [2]. At present, capacitors with the popular 0402 case size (1.0 mm × 0.5 mm) are available up to 4.7 μF, and a case size as small as 01005 (0.4 mm × 0.2 mm) is available. The technological importance of the ceramic capacitor is not limited to MLCCs. Specialty ceramic capacitors with distinctive capabilities cover performance gaps in other capacitor technologies, e.g., high temperature capacitors up to several hundred degrees Celsius and single-element high voltage capacitors that withstand 50 to 100 kV.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Article number5482787
Pages (from-to)44-50
Number of pages7
JournalIEEE Electrical Insulation Magazine
Issue number3
StatePublished - May 2010

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Electronic, Optical and Magnetic Materials
  • Electrical and Electronic Engineering


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