Acquired Electronics360

Industrial Electronics

Innovative Capacitor Design Withstands High Heat

02 May 2017

A capacitor with an innovative design withstands heat up to 300 degrees Celsius, considerably higher than the 125 degree limit of conventional electronics.

Removing heat from electronic products and components is often a challenge. Electricity creates heat. For veryThe capacitor withstands temperatures of up to 300 degrees Celsius. Credit: Fraunhofer IMSThe capacitor withstands temperatures of up to 300 degrees Celsius. Credit: Fraunhofer IMS small components or devices, there are often not enough space to dissipate heat effectively. This can be particularly true for components operating in inherently hot environments.

A research team at the Fraunhofer Institute for Microelectronic Circuits and Systems IMS in Duisberg, Germany, undertook the challenge of building a capacitor that would overcome this problem. Using innovative materials and a 3D trick, the team, led by Dorothee Dietz, produced the 300-degree-tolerant capacitor.

The new design consists of two conductive plates that act as anode and cathode, separated by dielectric material. The 3D trick involves etching tiny holds in the plates, which increases their surface areas. The holes allow for thicker plates than usual, which allows the dielectric layer to be thicker. These design features both increase capacity and the passive component’s ability to withstand heat.

The dielectric is produced using tantalum pentoxide, composed of the metal tantalum and oxygen and aluminum. This material—also known as a high-k material—stores more capacitance than silicon oxide, a more usual dielectric. The team also used a highly electrically conductive silicon and ruthenium. “With our material mix and design tricks, we can manufacture a capacitor that is incredibly tough and heat-tolerant without compromising performance,” explains Dietz.

An additional advantage to Dietz’s team’s design is that it is made using the metal-oxide-semiconductor (MOS) process. The process makes one-atom-thick layers, allowing manufacturers to control thickness precisely and provide highly customized capacitors.

This method can also be incorporated into design and manufacture of other passive and active components, such as resistors, diodes and transistors.

Powered by CR4, the Engineering Community

Discussion – 0 comments

By posting a comment you confirm that you have read and accept our Posting Rules and Terms of Use.
Engineering Newsletter Signup
Get the Engineering360
Stay up to date on:
Features the top stories, latest news, charts, insights and more on the end-to-end electronics value chain.
Weekly Newsletter
Get news, research, and analysis
on the Electronics industry in your
inbox every week - for FREE
Sign up for our FREE eNewsletter


Date Event Location
23-27 Apr 2018 Oklahoma City, Oklahoma
10 May 2018 Pier 94
22-24 May 2018 Los Angeles, CA
04-07 Jun 2018 Boston, MA
06-08 Jun 2018 Los Angeles, CA
Find Free Electronics Datasheets