IMAGE. Equipment used in a thin layer chromatography
Thin layer chromatography (TLC) is a method for identifying substances and testing the purity of compounds. TLC is a useful technique because it is relatively quick and requires small quantities of material.
Separations in TLC involve distributing a mixture of two or more substances between a stationary phase and a mobile phase. The stationary phase is a thin layer of adsorbent (usually silica gel or alumina) coated on a plate. The mobile phase is a developing liquid which travels up the stationary phase, carrying the samples with it. Components of the samples will separate according to how strongly they adsorb on the stationary phase versus how readily they dissolve in the mobile phase.