Introduction to Aluminum Electrolytic Capacitors - Part 2

[2] Aluminum Electrolytic Capacitors

The anode in the aluminum electrolytic capacitor is made from a high-purity aluminum foil with an aluminum oxide thin film dielectric on its surface. The capacitor is structured using an electrolytic paper containing an electrolytic solution and an aluminum electrode foil for contacting the cathode.

The thickness of the anode oxide thin film is the distance between the electrodes (t) show at below in the section on how capacitors function. The thickness of the anode oxide thin film in an aluminum electrolytic capacitor is selected by the required withstand voltage. Large amounts of charge can be stored in a small capacitor because the value for t can be made extremely small. This occurs because the value for the electrode surface area (S) can be increased by roughening the surface, and because the dielectric constant () is large.

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