Cer vs tant caps

What is the difference between the two and does one benefit from the other? I am building a few Texas Avenger drivers and something worth doing is worth doing right so I want to put the best components I have available. Thanks in advance for your time and input.

Ceramic caps are generally smaller in value (0.05µF and smaller, as little as 5pF), and nonpolarised.

Tantalum caps are generally larger in value (0.1µF and larger, I’ve seen up to 220µF), and polarised.

Tantalum caps are good for filtering, but not so hot for timing applications, as they exhibit “dielectric absorption”. DA is like wringing out a sponge but it still retains some water afterward.

Thank you

Tantalum may have improved lately, but they used to have a bad rep for failing in exothermic fashion.

Not much reason to use them for what we do, ceramic goes 100+ uF for surprisingly cheap.

Ceramic is difficult to beat where low ESR/ESL or high ripple-current tolerance is required. For bypass/decoupling (like on the FET drivers) ceramic X7R/X5R is good. For low-value precision work ceramic C0G/NP0 is the way to go.

Nice table at the end of this PDF:


tantalums can indeed fail violently.
they cannot tolerate reverse voltage at all.
rule is to use twice the voltage.
so if you need 12v use a 25v part.
mlcc are now availible in larger values.
but any flex or shock can fracture them leading to the same fireball on the board.
i use both.
mlcc do better at high frequency.but are physically large in large capacitance.
but if you need large capacitance tantalum is best.
problem is the large tants in low esr/high capacitance can be pricey.
some i have on hand for repairs replacing nec/tokin proadalisers are $8 ea!
i mine them from junk laptop boards like i mine battery packs for 18650.