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Challenges and opportunities faced by aluminum electrolytic capacitors

January 03,2023

In the 1980s, when LSI and VLSI were booming, some people were extremely pessimistic about the future of capacitors, and it turned out that, such arguments smack of alarmism: the industry has grown at an average annual rate of more than 20 per cent since the mid-1980s, and global capacitor sales reached $13BN in 1993. Aluminium electrolytic capacitors account for more than 1/3 of the entire capacitor industry. However, with the development of electronic technology and material manufacturing technology, traditional  aluminum electrolytic capacitors  are not only under the pressure of electronic technology development, but also under the pressure of other types of capacitors to challenge its leading position. The traditionalaluminum electrolytic capacitorindustry is under great pressure due to the demand of electronic technology for miniature and chip capacitors. The traditional aluminum electrolytic capacitor uses the electrolyte as the cathode, which greatly hinders its chip-like process.


How to seal the electrolyte well

Lamination is usually in the form of laminated structure and resin encapsulation, and how to seal the electrolyte well has been a headache for the researchers and developers of aluminum electrolytic capacitors. Tantalum electrolytic capacitors, which use solid-state List of semiconductor materials MNO2 as cathode material, have been developing rapidly in chip form, which has posed a certain market threat to aluminum electrolytic capacitors. In recent years, the development and manufacture of double-layer capacitors have been growing rapidly due to the maturity of industrial manufacturing technology of carbon fiber cloth with super large specific surface area (2000m2/G ~ 3000m2/g) , and become a very low-voltage and low-voltage aluminum electrolytic capacitor of a strong competitor. EDLC is breaking the monopoly of aluminum electrolytic capacitors in the field of energy storage because it can easily acquire faraday-level capacity and its energy storage density.


The emergence of metallized paper capacitors and metallized film capacitors makes paper capacitors and plastic film capacitors take a historic step in reducing volume and increasing specific capacity. At present, the development of metallized paper and metallized film capacitors in miniaturization and chip is more active, and it challenges the low-voltage and small-capacity aluminum electrolytic capacitors. Similarly, the range of capacitance available for chip ceramic capacitor has been gradually expanded by the development of low-to-medium temperature sintering techniques and the development of vertical laminating processes, it also gradually encroaches on the market share of low-voltage and small-capacity aluminum electrolytic capacitors.

Although aluminum electrolytic capacitors are facing unprecedented pressure and challenges, but do not be too pessimistic that aluminum electrolytic capacitors have come to an end, must be out of the stage of history. However, the development of new technology and new materials will not only bring opportunities for other types of capacitors, but also open the door for the innovation of aluminum electrolytic capacitors. The appearance of Organic semiconductor materials and Conductive polymer materials and the maturity of their synthesis technology have laid a material foundation for the upgrading of aluminum electrolytic capacitors. Attempts to use Organic semiconductor and Conductive polymer materials as cathodes for aluminium electrolytic capacitors have yielded frequency and temperature characteristics comparable to those of chip ceramic capacitor, even higher than solid-state aluminum electrolytic capacitors. In addition, for the traditional aluminum electrolytic capacitor, for a period of time, the price-capacity ratio is not comparable enough to maintain its status as a mainstream product.

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