September 28, 2023

Capacitor Types and Capacitance/Voltmeter


The capacitor is a component used in electronic devices. It is used to store energy in the electric field. There are many uses of capacitors like filtering out unwanted frequencies, acting like a fully charged battery, used as a sensing device and many more.

Construction of Capacitor

For constructing a capacitor, two metal plates are placed on either side of a dielectric. Dielectric is an insulating material made from glass, plastic etc. The dielectric is used in a capacitor to improve the capacitance of the capacitor. The conducting material used in the making of the capacitor can be silver, aluminium etc. The capacitor has two terminals. The conducting plate is connected to the terminals. 

When current is passed through the capacitor, the two plates of the capacitor get oppositely charged. These stationary charges will create an electric field. This results in the storage of electrical energy in the capacitor. In this article, we will be discussing capacitor types and capacitance in detail. 


The charge on the capacitor will be proportional to the potential difference between the plates. 

Q ∝ V

Q = CV

The proportionality constant C is called the capacitance of the capacitor. 

The ability of the capacitor to store energy is called capacitance. The value of capacitance depends on the shape of the conductor plates and the dielectric used between the plates.  The presence of another conductor nearby will affect the capacitance. The unit of capacitance is farad. 

Types of Capacitor

Capacitors are of different types based on the material used, applications, features etc.

Parallel Plate Capacitor

A parallel plate capacitor is the most common type of capacitor. It has two parallel plates of conductors separated by a dielectric.

Spherical Capacitor

It consists of two spherical conducting plates separated by the dielectric material.

Cylindrical Capacitor

Cylindrical capacitors have a solid cylinder surrounded by a spherical shell.

Ceramic capacitors

Ceramic capacitors are very small in size with a capacitance of less than 10μF. These capacitors are made using ceramic materials. 

Aluminium and Tantalum Electrolytic Capacitors

These types of capacitors have a very large capacitance. They are used in high voltage applications. Its capacitance is from 1μF to 1mF. They are mostly polarised capacitors, applying a voltage in the reverse direction can spoil the capacitor. 


Superconductors are made to store a large amount of capacitance. They release energy much faster than a battery and have a longer lifespan. 

Film Capacitors

Film capacitors commonly known as film caps are capacitors with an insulating plastic film as a dielectric. The conductors used in the film capacitors are made from aluminium or zinc.Other types of capacitors are heavy-duty snubber capacitors, SMD style capacitors, Axial capacitors, radial style capacitors and many more. A voltmeter is a device used to measure voltage. It can be of two types: digital voltmeter and analog voltmeter. A galvanometer with high resistance can be used as a voltmeter. The value of voltage is shown in a digital form in a digital voltmeter. To know more about voltmeters do check BYJU’S pages

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