Capacitor is a widely used electronic component. It stores electric charge and then discharges it into the circuit. It blocks the direct current and allows the alternating current to pass through it. Depending on the purpose, there are a variety of capacitors being used like ceramic, electrolytic, mylar, mica, etc. We will explore an electrolytic capacitor through this article.
Structure of a Capacitor: A capacitor contains two conductor plates which are generally made of metal and an insulator between them. This insulator also known as dielectric is made up of material like paper, plastic, ceramic or glass. The two plates are electrically connected to the external circuit with the help of two thin metal rods also known as the legs of the capacitor.
These two plates are used to store charge between them. One is connected with positive voltage and other one with negative voltage. A capacitor is characterized by the parameter capacitance. Capacitance is measured as ratio of difference of charges between the plates and total voltage drop between the plates.
C = dQ/dV
The unit of capacitance is FARAD.
Let’s have a closer look into the structure and how a capacitor is able to store charge.
The above image shows a simple electrolytic capacitor with two thin rods coming out from the cylindrical container. The capacitor is wrapped up using a plastic covering. This covering is done to label the capacitor.
On removing the label, you can see a metal container adjoined with a rubber stand to hold the entire setup.