Thin layer chromatography(TLC) is a chromatography technique used to separate mixtures. Thin layer chromatography is performed on a sheet of glass, plastic, or aluminum foil, which is coated with a thin layer of adsorbent material, usually silica gel, aluminium oxide, or cellulose. This layer of adsorbent is known as the stationary phase.
After the sample has been applied on the plate, a solvent or solvent mixture (known as the mobile phase) is drawn up the plate via capillary action. Because different analytes ascend the TLC plate at different rates, separation is achieved..
Thin layer chromatography finds many applications, including:
A number of enhancements can be made to the original method to automate some steps, to increase the resolution achieved with TLC and to allow more accurate quantitation. This method is referred to as HPTLC, or "high performance TLC".