There is a wide range of capacitor technologies that design engineers can select from when developing a system. Performance characteristics depend on a number of variables including capacitor size, capacitor configuration and capacitor material system. Selecting the best capacitor for a specific system can be overwhelming processes, as the decision depends greatly on the applications requirements such as environmental conditions, frequency of operation, breakdown voltage as well as other concerns.
This article will concentrate on RF applications and specifically look at the advantages/disadvantages of thin film and thick film capacitor technologies in areas of size, power capability, repeatability and ease of process. When these parameters are understood the design engineer will have confidence to switch between thin film to thick film capacitors in various applications.