What is a MLCC Capacitor?
A MLCC Capacitor is a multi-layer ceramic chip capacitor and is frequently used in power management systems including DC to DC converter input and output filters. This type of capacitor is considered very reliable and is cheap to produce and manufacture. And as its name suggests, this type of capacitor involves multiple layers of ceramic which are alternated with a metal object. With this layout, a MLCC Capacitor is designed for increased efficiency when it comes to energy storage in the form of an electric field. But aside from its usage in energy storage devices, MLCC capacitors may also be used as electronic filters to differentiate whether signals have high or low frequency.
When making MLCC capacitors, electrodes are typically made using either precious metal or base metal. The older technology involves the use of precious metals such as silver, palladium, nickel, and tin when making electrodes, plating, and termination components. But recent technologies now only use base metals to create MLCC capacitors. Electrodes are now usually made of nickel. Plating is still done with nickel or tin while the termination components are now done using copper or nickel. Precious metals such as palladium and silver are still being used but only for those that require higher voltages of 500V or even higher.
Chip capacitors like the MLCC capacitors are widely used in many industries including the automobile industry and the aerospace industry. MLCC capacitors are also used in various microwave, high voltage, high frequency, and telecommunication requirements. And although ceramic-based chips like MLCC capacitors are very reliable when it comes to energy storage, they may also present problems and issues when it comes to DC-DC converter circuits. In these circuits, the ceramic base may lose actual capacitance or value in specific conditions and this could alter the overall efficiency of a DC-DC converter.