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PCB Currents: How They Flow, How They React by Douglas Brooks

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5. Reactive Circuits: Capacitors and Capacitance

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5.1. The Nature of Capacitance

Conceptually a capacitor is a very simple device. It consists of two parallel conducting surfaces separated by a short distance, as shown in Figure 5-1. The important parameters of a capacitor are (a) the parallel surface areas, represented by A in the figure; (b) the separation between the plates, represented by d in the figure; and (c) the material that exists between the plates. Capacitance increases as (a) A increases, (b) d decreases, and (c) the relative dielectric coefficient of the material between the plates increases.

Figure 5-1 Basic capacitor.

It is ...

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