# Microliter Definition and Example

## How Small Is a Microliter?

While the liter is the standard metric unit of volume, it's much too large to use in certain laboratory situations. Other common units include the milliliter and microliter.

### Microliter Definition

A microliter is a unit of volume equal to 1/1,000,000th of a liter (one-millionth). A microliter is one cubic millimeter.

The symbol for microliter is μl or μL.

1 μL = 10-6 L = 10-3 mL.

Alternate Spellings: microlitre
Plural: microliters, microlitres

The microliter is a small volume, yet measurable in a typical laboratory. An example of when you might use microliter volumes would be in preparation of an electrophoresis sample, when isolating DNA, or during chemical purification. Microliters are measured and dispensed using micropipettes.

"My sample had a volume of 256 μL."