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  • Chromatography is used to separate components in a mixture
  • It can be carried out on a small scale for analysis or a bigger scale for purification
  • In all types of chromatography, there is a mobile phase (moving: liquid or gas) and a stationary phase (immobile: solid or liquid). The mobile phase flows past the stationary phase, carrying the components of the mixture with it. Interaction with the stationary phase slows components down to a varying extent, allowing separation to occur

Thin Layer Chromatography

  • This is a quick and inexpensive analytical method widely used to assess the progress of reactions and the purity of products
  • Stationary phase: A thin layer of solid (e.g. silica gel, SiO2) mounted on a piece of metal, plastic or glass
  • Mobile phase: an organic solvent (i.e. liquid)
  • The solvent disssolves and carries the components of the mixture up the plate. However, they are slowed down and separated by adsorption to the plate

The rate at which a component moves up the TLC plate depends on;

  • How strongly the component is adsorbed to the stationary phase. The stronger the adsorption,


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