App note: HVArc Guard® surface-mount capacitors for low-power voltage multiplier applications

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Application note on Vishay’s arc resistant SMD capacitors, Link here (PDF)

Voltage multipliers can generate very high voltages due to an inverter circuit that feeds a step-up transformer, which is connected to the multiplier circuit. An example of a typical voltage multiplier, which is simply a circuit comprised of capacitors and diodes that charge and discharge in alternating half cycles of the applied AC voltage. Applications for voltage multipliers include flyback converters, where a high voltage is produced from a low battery or supply voltage in medical X-ray systems, air ionizers, and oscilloscopes, and instrumentation requiring a high-voltage power supply.

When a high voltage potential is applied at > 1000 V, an arc-over between the terminals, or from terminal to case will occur. To eliminate any arc-over, an overcoating can be applied to the board, or additional board layout spacing can be added to isolate the high-voltage section from other sections of the board. Although coatings add cost to the process and the design, they are required in some applications to meet electrical safety standards.

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