A tantalum capacitor is a type of electrolytic capacitor, a component of electronic circuits. It typically consists of a pellet of tantalum metal as anode, covered by an insulating oxide layer that forms the dielectric, surrounded by conductive material as a cathode. Tantalum capacitors are the main use of the element tantalum.
The tantalum capacitor distinguishes itself from other capacitors in having high capacitance per volume and weight. Tantalum capacitors have lower equivalent series resistance (ESR), lower leakage, and higher operating temperature than other electrolytic capacitors, although other types of capacitors are even better in these regards.
Tantalum capacitors are considerably more expensive than any other commonly used type of capacitor, so they are used only in applications where the small size or better performance are important.