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Capacitor conversion table

- a capacitor value conversion table or chart showing the relationship between capacitor values using the pico, nano, and micro-Farad units.

Capacitor values vary over an enormous range. At the bottom end of the scale capacitor types such as silver mica, and some ceramic types may only have capacitances of a few pico-Farads. At the other end of the scale electrolytic capacitors may have values of many hundreds or thousands of micro-Farads. In the middle of the scale capacitor types such as ceramic, polyester and a number of other types may have values measured in nano-Farads.

Capacitor value prefixes

In view of the enormous range over which capacitor values can vary a number of different prefixes may be used. This prevents confusion with large numbers of zeros attached to the values of the different capacitors.

The main prefixes used for capacitor values are given in the table below.


SI prefixes for sub-multiples of ten
as used with capacitor values.

Prefix Value 10-X
Micro 0.000001 10-6
Nano 0.000000001 10-9
Pico 0.000001 10-12

These prefixes are the standard SI prefixes and multipliers that are used throughout industry. They enable the significant figures of the capacitor value to be given along with the multiplier. In this way it is easier to comprehend and to remember.

Capacitor conversion table

There is a certain amount of overlap. There are many instances where two components of the same value may be quoted in different ways: one may be quoted in terms of pico-Farads and another in terms of nano-Farads. For example 100 nF is the same as 0.1 micro Farads. The chart below quickly helps show what which values are the same and how many nano-Farads makes a micro-Farad and so forth. It can be used as a quick reference guide for capacitors, or any other electronic component when looking at different items from different manufacturers.


Capacitor conversion table for pico-Farads, nano-Farads, and micro-Farads

micro-Farads (mF) Nano-Farads (nF) Pico-Farads (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 

Using the capacitor conversion table it is possible to quickly check the relationship between two capacitors with different markings. In this way it is possible to see whether they capacitor values are the same or not.

The Art of Electronics

Paul Horowitz and Winfield Hill

The Art of Electronics





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