Design choices for MLCC multilayer ceramic capacitors

February 10, 2021 // By Mokhtar Marzouk
Design choices for MLCC multilayer ceramic capacitors
Mokhtar Marzouk, Application Engineer at Samsung Electro-mechanics (SEMCO) looks at the different uses of MLCC multilayer ceramic capacitors

Multilayer ceramic capacitors, or MLCCs, come in the form of blocks with a specific amount of stacked ceramic layers. And while this structure seems to be simple, it requires a row of complex operations, as well as advanced techniques and materials, to meet the increasingly demanding market for quality and performance. In this first part, we’ll focus on the essential phases of the MLCC manufacturing cycle.

Launching the Batch

The 1st phase, called the batch, consists in preparing the raw material in order to manufacture the components. Slurry is mixed with ceramic powder, binder and solvent. At this stage, the ceramics are manufactured in-house by Samsung. This allows Samsung full control of the production process and quality. It also allows Samsung to obtain high-value capacities. The slurry is then coated on a film to obtain a thin and uniform ceramic sheet. Inner electrodes in the shape of metallic nickel paste are printed on this ceramic sheet. Nickel strips are then stacked in such a way as to obtain the multilayer component. The electrodes are deposited by the number of superimposed layers, and the type of dielectric used defines the value of the capacitance of the manufactured component. The stacked layers are then cut in order to obtain the desired chip form. After several additional steps (laminating, firing, tumbling), sintering is applied to ensure good conductivity between the internal and external electrodes. Finally, each terminal of the component is dipped in copper to form the external electrodes.

Next: Avoiding MLCC fractures

Picture: 
MLCC structure

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