Capacitance Converter

Created by Purnima Singh, PhD
Reviewed by Steven Wooding
Last updated: Jan 03, 2023

Omni's capacitance converter allows you to quickly convert between different units of capacitance. So whether you want the conversion between µF to nF or nF to pF, you can use our tool.

Head on to our capacitor calculator if you want to determine the capacitance and voltage ratings from the capacitor code. We also have a dedicated tool to calculate the capacitance of a parallel plate capacitor.

To learn more about the different units of capacitance, keep scrolling. You will also find:

  • Dimensional formula for capacitance; and
  • An example of using our calculator for capacitor conversion.

Let's start with the SI unit of capacitance.

SI unit of capacitance

As we know, to express any physical quantity, we also need to specify its unit. In the international system of units, i.e., SI units, we represent electrical capacitance in farad (or F).

Before going any further, let us first try to understand what a farad is?

We define the capacitance CC of a capacitor as the ratio:

C=QV\quad C = \frac{Q}{V}

where:

  • QQ – Maximum charge that can be stored in the capacitor; and
  • VV – Voltage applied across the plates of a capacitor.

If Q=1 CQ = 1\ \rm C and V=1 VV=1\ \rm V, we can write one farad as:

1 F=1 C1 V\quad 1 \ \rm F = \frac{1\ C}{1\ V}

Hence, we can define 1 F as the capacitance of a capacitor that can store 1 C of charge when we apply a potential difference of 1 V across its plate.

Other units of capacitance

You may not realize, but 1 coulomb is actually an enormous amount of charge. If we use Coulomb's law (visit the Coulomb's law calculator if you don't remember what it is) to calculate the force between two charges of 1 C separated by a distance of 1 m, we get:

F=keq1q2r2F=9×109×1 C×1 C1 mF=9×109 N\quad \begin{align*} F & = k_e \frac{q_1q_2}{r^2}\\ F &= 9 \times 10^9 \times \frac{1\ \rm C \times 1\ C}{1 \ \rm m}\\ F & = 9 \times 10^9 \ \rm N \end{align*}

Using our force converter, you can see that this force is about 2.0×109 lbf2.0 \times 10^{9} \ \rm lbf.

To get an idea about the magnitude of the force mentioned above, you can compare it with the maximum thrust of 2.8×106 lbf2.8 \times 10^{6} \ \rm lbf exerted by a space shuttle solid rocket booster during liftoff! Don't believe us, check it out yourself using our rocket thrust calculator.

Therefore, one farad is also a massive value for capacitance and is not very commonly used. The capacitance values that we use typically range from picofarads (pF) to millifarads (mF).

Capacitance unit conversion

The different units of capacitance are related as:

  • 1 pF (picofarad)=1012 F1\ \rm pF\ (picofarad) = 10^{-12}\ F;
  • 1 nF (nanofarad)=109 F1\ \rm nF\ (nanofarad) = 10^{-9}\ F;
  • 1 μF (microfarad)=106 F1\ \rm \mu F\ (microfarad) = 10^{-6}\ F; and
  • 1 mF (millifarad)=103 F1\ \rm mF\ (millifarad)= 10^{-3}\ F.

Hence, if we want to convert between different units, say, from F to nF, we must multiply the capacitance in farads by 10910^9. So, a capacitance of 10 F10\ \rm F is equivalent to a capacitance of 10×109 nF10 \times 10^9\ \rm nF.

In the next section, we will see how to use the capacitance unit conversion calculator to change between different units.

How to use the capacitance converter

To use the capacitor conversion calculator to perform the same calculations, follow these instructions:

  1. Enter the value of capacitance against the given unit field. Say we want to convert 10 F10\ \rm F, enter the value 10 in the first row.

  2. The calculator will convert the capacitance to different units and display it in the respective rows.

  3. So, now you know that a capacitance of 10 F10\ \rm F can be converted to 10,000 mF10,000\ \rm mF, 107 μF10^7\ \rm \mu F, 1010 nF10^{10}\ \rm nF, and 1013 pF10^{13}\ \rm pF.

FAQ

What is the SI unit of capacitance?

The SI unit of capacitance is the farad (denoted by the symbol F). The unit is named after the English scientist Michael Faraday for his significant contributions to the field of electromagnetism.

What is the dimensional formula for capacitance?

[M⁻¹ L⁻² T⁴ I²]. Capacitance is the charge per unit voltage (Q/V), and voltage is work done per unit charge (W/Q). Hence, we can write capacitance as Q²/W.

The dimensional formula for the charge is [I T], and work is [M¹ L² T⁻² ]. Consequently, the dimensional formula for capacitance is [M⁻¹ L⁻² T⁴ I²].

How do I convert pF to nF?

We know that, 1 nF (nanoFarad) = 1000 pF (picoFarad). Hence, to convert a given capacitance in pF to nF, divide the capacitance by 1000. Whereas to convert nF to pF, multiply the capacitance by 1000.

How do I convert µF to F?

To convert capacitance in µF (microFarad) to F (Farad), proceed as follows:

  1. Using the information, 1 µF = 10⁻⁶ F, divide the capacitance in µF by 1,000,000 to get the capacitance in farads.

  2. To convert from F to µF, multiply the capacitance by 1,000,000.

Purnima Singh, PhD
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