Introduction to Aluminum Electrolytic Capacitors - Part 5

[2]-3 Electrolyte

Aluminum electrolytic capacitors are made by layering the electrolytic paper between the anode and cathode foils, and then coiling the result. The process of preparing an electrode facing the etched anode foil surface is extremely difficult. Therefore, the opposing electrode is created by filling the structure with an electrolyte. Due to this process, the electrolyte essentially functions as the cathode. The basic functional requirements for the electrolyte are as follows:

  • (1) Chemically stable when it comes in contact with materials used in the anode, cathode, and electrolytic paper. 
  • (2) Easily wets the surfaces of the electrode.
  • (3) Electrically conductive.
  • (4) Has the chemical ability to protect the anode oxide thin film and compensate for any weaknesses therein. 
  • (5) Low volatility even at high temperatures. 
  • (6) Long-term stability and characteristics that take into consideration such things as toxicity.

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