Measurement tips for high capacitance MLCCs (Multilayer Ceramic Capacitors) (4): How can a meter supply a different measured voltage than what is set?
  • Kondensatoren
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  • Keramik-Vielschichtkondensatoren (MLCC)

A. The impedance of a capacitor can affect the capacitance measurement read from certain cap meters. The impedance (Z) formula for a capacitor is as follows:

Z(Ω)=R+j(-1/ωC)where ω=2πf (formula 1)

Consequently, the frequency (f) and capacitance (C) will effect the impedance value for the device under test (capacitor). As capacitance and frequency increase, the impedance of the capacitor decreases. The cap meter’s impedance should switch to a lower range to compensate for the lower impedance of the capacitor. Some cap meters have several impedance settings to adequately compensate for different capacitor impedances. However, not all cap meters are able to switch to appropriate lower impedance values. As a result, inaccurate capacitance readings can occur. In other words, a cap meter’s fixed high impedance can cause lower capacitance measurements by not allowing the full voltage setting to reach the capacitor.

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