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The interactive lab primer - thin layer chromatography


The technique of Thin Layer Chromatography (TLC) is normally used as an analytical method to follow the progress of a reaction, to analyse mixtures or to establish conditions for a preparative separation of compounds using column chromatography. The stationary phase (often silica) is coated on plastic or aluminium plates. The mixture is spotted on the plate and solvent is allowed to run up the plate to separate the compounds.

The Retention Factor (Rf) of a compound is a measure of how far it has moved up a plate under certain conditions and it can be used as a quick way of identification. Differences in Rf are important when considering solvent systems for column chromatography or other methods of purification. Flash player is required to view this resource. Use the zoom buttons on your browser to view a larger version of this resource.


This resource is part of the interactive lab primer - lab techniques collection.

See more lab techniques or visit the interactive lab primer home.