Common Capacitors And Their Names
Capacitors are divided into two mechanical groups: Fixed capacitors with fixed capacitance values and variable capacitors with variable (trimmer) or adjustable (tunable) capacitance values.
The most important group is the fixed capacitors. Many got their names from the dielectric. For a systematic classification these characteristics can't be used, because one of the oldest, the electrolytic capacitor, is named instead by its cathode construction. So the most-used names are simply historical.
The most common kinds of capacitors are:
Ceramic capacitors have a ceramic dielectric.
Film and paper capacitors are named for their dielectrics.
Aluminum, tantalum and niobium electrolytic capacitors are named after the material used as the anode and the construction of the cathode (electrolyte)
Polymer capacitors are aluminum, tantalum or niobium electrolytic capacitors with conductive polymer as electrolyte
Supercapacitor is the family name for:
Double-layer capacitors were named for the physical phenomenon of the Helmholtz double-layer
Pseudocapacitors were named for their ability to store electric energy electro-chemically with reversible faradaic charge-transfer
Hybrid capacitors combine double-layer and pseudocapacitors to increase power density
Silver mica, glass, silicon, air-gap and vacuum capacitors are named for their dielectric.
In addition to the above shown capacitor types, which derived their name from historical development, there are many individual capacitors that have been named based on their application. They include:
Power capacitors, motor capacitors, DC-link capacitors, suppression capacitors, audio crossover capacitors, lighting ballast capacitors, snubber capacitors, coupling, decoupling or bypassing capacitors.
Often, more than one capacitor family is employed for these applications, e.g. interference suppression can use ceramic capacitors or film capacitors.
Other kinds of capacitors are discussed in the #Special capacitors section.
The most common dielectrics are:
Oxide layer on metal (Aluminum, Tantalum, Niobium)
Natural materials like mica, glass, paper, air, SF6, vacuum
All of them store their electrical charge statically within an electric field between two (parallel) electrodes.
Beneath this conventional capacitors a family of electrochemical capacitors called Supercapacitors was developed. Supercapacitors don't have a conventional dielectric. They store their electrical charge statically in Helmholtz double-layers and faradaically at the surface of electrodes
with static Double-layer capacitance in a double-layer capacitor and
with pseudocapacitance (faradaic charge transfer) in a Pseudocapacitor
or with both storage principles together in hybrid capacitors.