Thin-layer chromatography

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A method to separate and characterize components in a mixture. In thin-layer chromatography (TLC) the stationary phase is prepared as a thin layer of an absorbent coated on a plastic sheet or glass plate. A drop of the analyte mixture is placed near the lower edge of the plate then the plate is placed in a solvent bath. Capillary action carries the solvent up the plate. The solvent selectively absorbs and desorbs components in the analyte as it rises. This results in each component traveling slightly different distances in the solvent front thus giving an effective separation. Identification is made by the comparison of the unknown analyte components with known reference materials analyzed under the same conditions.

Synonyms and Related Terms

TLC; thin layer chromatography; Dünnschichtchromatographie (Deut.); chromatographie en couche mince (Fr.);

Additional Information

M.Striegel, J.Hill, Thin-Layer Chromatography for Binding Media Analysis, Getty Conservation Institute, Los Angeles, 1996.

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