Multi-layer ceramic (MLC) capacitors have become extremely popular in power electronics due to their small size, low equivalent series resistance (ESR), low cost, high reliability, and high ripple current capacity. Commonly, they are used in lieu of electrolytic capacitor to enhance system performance. MLC capacitors have the advantage of a high relative permittivity material (2000-3000) compared to electrolytics with relative permittivity of 10 with the aluminum-oxide insulation of an electrolytic capacitor.
Robert Kollman, a Senior Applications Manager and Distinguished Member of Technical Staff at Texas Instruments with more than 30 years of experience in the power electronics business offers another in a series of Power Tips. This one is on avoiding common multi-layer ceramic capacitor pitfalls. Read more here.