What is an Inductor?

Coils, inductors, and chokes An inductor is a passive electrical component that resists abrupt current shifts. Coils and chokes are other names for inductors. L is the electrical symbol for an inductor. What is its purpose?
By temporarily storing energy in an electromagnetic field and then releasing it back into the circuit, inductors slow down current surges or spikes.

Inductor with a ceramic or air core (Inductor_aircore-(3).png) Inductor with an iron or ferrite core (Inductor_ferrite.png)
Reflow soldering is used to attach surface mount (SM) inductors to pads on the top of a printed circuit board (PCB). The leads of through-hole (TH) inductors are fed through board via holes before being wave-soldered to the backside of a PCB.

Which applications make use of inductors ?
In electrical power and electronic devices, inductors are primarily utilized for the following major functions:

Creating tuned oscillators or LC (inductor / capacitor) “tank” circuits Impedance matching Choking, blocking, attenuating, or filtering/smoothing high frequency noise in electrical circuits Storing and transferring energy in power converters (dc-dc or ac-dc)
As a low pass filter, an inductor placed in series (in line) with a conductor, such as a wire or circuit board trace, prevents or impedes changes in current. Also known as “chokes,” inductors restrict or choke changes in current. A broadband (wideband) bias choke in line with an amplifier’s DC bias, for instance, allows the dc current to pass through while blocking a wide frequency range of high frequencies. A bias choke does this by isolating the DC bias from the amplifier’s RF signal.

Electronic devices sold or manufactured in the United States are certified by the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) to meet electromagnetic interference (EMI) requirements. CISPR, IEC, ISO, and EN are some of the organizations that set standards for electromagnetic compatibility (EMC) worldwide. Computers, switched-mode power supplies, television receivers, transmitters, and industrial, scientific, and medical (ISM) devices that emit RF radiation are all subject to FCC regulations, which are mandatory. To meet EMC emission and immunity requirements, electrical circuits use inductors to reduce EMI by attenuating high-frequency noise.

Figure 1: How can I improve the filtering performance of a circuit? current_rise.png Current Rise Time with a 1 H inductor across 10 Vdc and a 10 ohm load is less than 10 us. current_rise_10.png Current Rise Time with a 10 H inductor across 10 Vdc and a 10 ohm load is greater than 40 us.
For the most part, high inductance values are expected to sift through low recurrence commotion, as well as the other way around: Higher frequency noise is eliminated by using values of lower inductance. When a transient event occurs, like closing a switch, the current rise time is effectively slowed down by high inductance values. A 10 H inductor “smooths” the rise time more than a 1 H inductor, as shown in Figure 1.

LC filters can be made even more efficient by combining inductors and capacitors. There are a number of different LC filter alignments, each of which requires making concessions in terms of the sharpness of the filter roll-off and the flatness of the attenuation vs. frequency behavior.

In order to achieve cutoff frequencies between 0.3 MHz and 3000 MHz, this Coilcraft reference design document offers reference designs for 3rd order Butterworth and 7th order Elliptic LC filters that make use of standard inductors.

Creating LC filters or using high inductance values improves filtering, but it takes up more board space. Switching to operation at a higher frequency may enable the use of smaller inductors due to the ability to filter higher frequencies with lower inductance values.

In power converters, how do inductors function?
In switched mode power supplies, inductors store energy and transfer it to a output load or capacitor. The “ripple” current at the output is filtered by power converter inductors. Low ripple current and increased efficiency are two benefits of high inductance values. Look at Figure 2.

In tuned circuits, how do inductors function?
Radio or microwave frequency signals are transmitted or received by tuned circuits. Tuned LC circuits like oscillators can be made by combining inductors and capacitors.

Figure 2 shows how the Q factor affects the bandwidth of LC circuits. high_ripple.png Low ripple current DC-DC converter with an inductor of 7.5 H low_ripple.png Low ripple current DC-DC converter with an inductor of 75 H
An inductor’s dissipative quality is measured by its Q factor (Q). High Q inductors have low dissemination and are utilized to make finely-tuned, tight band circuits. Wideband performance is achieved by having a higher dissipation in inductors with a lower Q.

What is an inductor’s self-resonant frequency?
Turn-to-turn winding capacitance behaves like a parallel circuit element in real inductors. An inductor’s self-resonant frequency (SRF) is the frequency at which the windings’ capacitive and inductive reactances are equal in magnitude. The impedance is effectively solely resistive because the inductive and capacitive phase angles cancel out at the SRF. Up until the self-resonant frequency (SRF), where an inductor’s impedance is at its highest, impedance magnitude increases with frequency. The impedance decreases with frequency at frequencies above the SRF.

A property of electrical components known as impedance (Z) is a vector combination of resistance and phase. Opposition has a dissipative quality: There is no recovery of energy used. Phase is the time that passes between applying a voltage to a part and letting a current flow through it. Phase is usually expressed as an angle in degrees (°) or radians. Inductors’ AC resistance and phase shift with frequency.

How do impedance matching inductors work?
Matching an electrical load’s impedance to that of a power source is known as “impedance matching.” When the load’s impedance and the source’s impedance are matched, maximum power is transferred to the load, increasing the circuit’s efficiency. In the event that the load and the source are both capacitive, inductors can be utilized to match the impedance and counteract the load’s capacitance.

Coilcraft produces what kinds of inductors?
Coilcraft plans and makes off-the-rack inductors in different sizes and developments to meet an assortment of separating, tuning, and impedance matching necessities.

Air core inductors/springs High frequency, very high Q, narrowband bias chokes Power inductors High inductance, wideband filtering Broadband bias inductors and chokes High inductance, wideband filtering RF chip inductors Compact size, high frequency, high Q, RF chokes

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