I am looking at a datasheet for NJM2073 (dual low-voltage power amplifier). On the fourth page, there is a sample circuit; right at the V+ input there is a symbol that looks like a capacitor. However, it looks like it is shaded in. What is that?

Enter image description here

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    \$\begingroup\$ It's an electrolytic capacitor. \$\endgroup\$ Apr 5, 2014 at 1:36
  • \$\begingroup\$ What @LeonHeller said. \$\endgroup\$ Apr 5, 2014 at 1:51
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    \$\begingroup\$ It is a Japanese electrolytic capacitor \$\endgroup\$ Apr 5, 2014 at 2:14
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    \$\begingroup\$ @PeterBennett A "Japanese electrolytic capacitor" is not the same thing as the symbol that Japanese use for a capacitor. A "Japanese electrolytic capacitor" is like referring to a component manufactured in Japan when this is just about different standards for representing components in a schematic. \$\endgroup\$
    – alexan_e
    Apr 5, 2014 at 7:56
  • \$\begingroup\$ @alexan_e: Sorry - I should have used a smiley :-) \$\endgroup\$ Apr 5, 2014 at 15:59

2 Answers 2


Intercontinental symbols for fixed capacitor from here:

Capacitor Symbols

and from http://www.learnabout-electronics.org:

Capacitor Symbols

and a very old one....

enter image description here


This is a polarized (electrolytic) capacitor

While all the schematic symbols used for capacitors will have two lines or a line and a curve in parallel, thus looking like a parallel-plate capacitor, the precise nature of these symbols varies across region. EIA (North American) practice uses a parallel-line-and-curve symbol for a non-polarized capacitor and adds a + polarity marker on the line side for polarized electrolytics, while IEC/EN (European) practice uses a two-line symbol for non-polarized capacitors and a line-and-box symbol with the box on the + side, along with the + sign for polarity, for polarized capacitors, and EIAJ (Japanese) practice is to use the shading/crosshatching between the two lines to denote polarity instead of the box, as they use the two-line symbol as well.

BTW: if you're wondering why the US uses the line-and-curve capacitor symbol, it's to avoid confusion with the parallel-lines symbol used for relay, and more importantly contactor, contacts in industrial electrical work (such as ladder logic diagrams and industrial wiring diagrams).


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