Heat is one of the worst enemies of electronics. It can disrupt functionality and cause electronic components to age more quickly, or even destroy them. Now Fraunhofer researchers have developed a capacitor that can withstand temperatures of up to 300 degrees Celsius. They did so by using an innovative mix of materials – and a special 3D trick.
A capacitor is used to store an electric charge. Traditional capacitors have an insulating layer called the dielectic, which separates two conducting metal plates which act as the electrodes. The researchers imprinted tiny holes into the surface of the conducting layers, creating a 3D effect therefore greatly increasing the surface area, allowing the use of a thicker dielectic, which can then withstand higher temperatures.
Another change made is the material used for the insulating dielectric. Instead of silicon oxide the switch was made to tantalum pentoxide, a mixture of tantalum, oxygen and aluminium oxide, which stores charge carriers more efficiently.
Potential uses of these capacitors could be in drill bits, engine injection systems and aircraft turbines as well as other high heat applications.
For more information visit the Fraunhofer website