Dingfeng Capacitor---How to increase the capacitor capacitance?
Issue Time:2017-12-18
Dingfeng Capacitor---How to increase capacitor capacitance?
It's obvious that if you make the plates bigger, you'll be able to store more charge (just as if you make a closet bigger you can stuff more things inside it). So increasing the area of the plates also increases the capacitance. Less obviously, if we reduce the distance between the plates, that also increases the capacitance. That's because the shorter the distance between the plates, the more effect the plates have on one another. The second plate, being closer, reduces the potential of the first plate even more, and that increases the capacitance.
The final thing we thing we can do to increase the capacitance is to change the dielectric (the material between the plates). Air works pretty well, but other materials are even better. Glass is at least 5 times more effective than air, which is why the earliest capacitors (Leyden jars, using ordinary glass as the dielectric) worked so well, but it's heavy, impractical, and hard to squeeze into small spaces. Waxed paper is about 4 times better than air, very thin, cheap, easy to make in large pieces, and easy to roll, which makes it an excellent, practical dielectric. The best dielectric materials are made of polar molecules (ones with more positive electric charge on one side and more negative electric charge on the other). When they sit in the electric field between two capacitor plates, they line up with their charges pointing opposite to the field, which effectively reduces it. 

That reduces the potential on the plates and, as before, increases their capacitance. Theoretically, water, which is made of really tiny polar molecules, would make an excellent dielectric, roughly 80 times better than air. Practically, though, it's not so good (it leaks and dries out and changes from a liquid to ice or steam at relatively modest temperatures), so it's not used in real capacitors.
Chat: Different materials make better or worse dielectrics according to how well they insulate the space between a capacitor's plates and reduce the electric field between them. A measurement called the relative permitivty tells us how good a dielectric something will make. A vacuum is the worst dielectric and is given a relative permotivity of other dielectrics are measured relative(by comparing them) to a vacuum.Air is roughly the same.Paper is about 3 times better.Alcohol and water, which have polar molecules, make particularly good dielectrics.
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