how can I build a high voltage capacitor?

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How high ?

Double sided PCB material works pretty well to a couple of kV
nerd7473 (author)  steveastrouk5 years ago
I need at least 20kv
Keep reading, its nearer 32kV, if you use 1/16 FR4.
nerd7473 (author)  steveastrouk5 years ago
what does pcb stand for isnt it prototyping circuit board?
PRINTED circuit board - but in this case, unetched PCB, excelp Its helpful to etch a 10mm border around the edges, to prevent flashover.
An excellent suggestion keep arc length long for the high voltage copper plates.
FR4 has a Dielectric strength of 20 kV/mm
o.063 FR4 is about 17.1pF per sq inch brake down 32KV.
o.032 FR4 is about 33.7pF per sq inch brake down 16KV.
nerd7473 (author)  iceng5 years ago
whats fr4 mean?
iceng nerd74735 years ago
FR4 is the manufacturers name for the fiberglass .
nerd7473 (author)  iceng5 years ago
thanks i didn't know you really are a pro
Fibre Reinforced - FR.
Do you have access to any ionic conducting liquid such as boric acid or sodium borate? If not you won't be able to build a high voltage cap. A quick look at the Wikipedia article about electrolytic capacitors will tell you what they are made of. 
Re-design5 years ago
Google "Leyden jar. You'll get many ideas from the result.