Capacitor Conversion Chart: uF to nF, pF to nF . . .

Capacitor values may be expressed in µF, nF and pF and conversions often need to be made between them.

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Capacitor values are generally expressed in terms of microfarads, µF (sometimes uF when a micro character is not available), nanofarads, nF and picofarads, pF.

Often there is an overlap between these multipliers. For example 0.1µF can also be expressed as 100nF, and there are many more examples of this type of notation confusion.

The capacitor conversion chart below reveals the equivalents between µF, nF and pF in an easy to use table format.

Capacitor values can be of over 109 range, and even more as super capacitors are now being used. To prevent confusion with large numbers of zeros attached to the values of the different capacitors the common prefixes pico (10-12), nano (10-9) and micro (10-6 are widely used. When converting between these it is sometimes useful to have a capacitor conversion chart or capacitor conversion table for the different capacitor values.

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Capacitor conversion chart

A chart or table proving an easy translation between micro-farads,µF; nanofarads, nF, and picofarads, pF is given below. This helps reduce the confusion that can occur when having to change between the different multipliers of values.

Capacitor Value Conversion Chart
pF to nF, µ to nF, etc . .
microfarads (µF) Nanofarads (nF) Picofarads (pF)
0.000001 0.001 
0.00001 0.01 10
0.0001 0.1 100
0.001 1 1000
0.01 10 10000
0.1 100  100000 
1 1000 1000000 
10 10000 10000000 
100 100000  100000000 

This capacitor conversion chart or capacitor conversion table enables quick and easy reference of the different values given for capacitors and conversion between picofarads, nanofarads and microfarads.

Popular capacitor conversions

There are a few popular ways of writing capacitor values. Often for example a ceramic capacitor may be given as a value of 100nF. If used in circuits with electrolytic capacitors, it is often interesting to realise that this is 0.1µF. These useful conversions can help when designing, building, or maintaining circuits.

Common Capacitor Conversions
100pF = 0.1nF
1000pf = 1 nF
100nF = 0.1µF

When designing circuits or using capacitors in any way, it is often useful to have these capacitor conversions in mind as values transition from picofarads to nanofarads and then nanofarads to microfarads.

Capacitor conversion nomenclature

Although most modern circuits and component descriptions use the nomenclature of µF, nF and pF for detailing capacitor values, often older circuit diagrams, circuit descriptions and even the components themselves may use a host of non-standard abbreviations and it may not always be clear exactly what they mean.

The main variations for the various capacitance sub-multiples are given below:

  • Micro-Farad, µF :   The values for larger capacitors like electrolytic capacitors and even some paper capacitors measured in micro-Farads might have been designated in uF, mfd, MFD, MF or UF. All of these refer to the value measured in µF
  • Nano-Farad, nF:   The terminology of nF or nano-Farads was not widely used before the standardisation of terminology, and therefore this submultiple did not have a variety of abbreviations.
  • Pico-Farad, pF:   Again a variety of abbreviations were used to indicate the value in picoFarads, pF. Terms used included: microromicroFarads, mmfd, MMFD, uff, µµF. All of these refer to values in pF.

The standardisation of terminology has assisted in the conversion of values from one submultiple to the next. It has meant that there is considerably less room for misunderstanding. It is easier converting from µF to nF and pF.

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