Thin Layer Chromatography (TLC)

A person wearing blue latex gloves, suggesting the handling of materials that require precision or a sterile environment.

Thin layer chromatography (TLC) is a widely used separation technique for quantitative and qualitative analysis. It uses a thin layer of a stationary phase coated on a glass, plastic, or aluminum plate. A liquid solvent called the mobile phase carries the sample and separates it as it moves across the plate. It offers the advantages of simplicity, sensitivity, and rapid analysis over other separation techniques. 

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Silica gel TLC plates showing clearly separated colored spots

Classical TLC Plates

Our classical thin layer chromatography plates are silica plates. They have a smooth and dense silica gel 60 coating to ensure narrow chromatographic bands. Classical plates are also available as aluminum TLC plates, glass TLC plates, or plastic TLC plates in a variety of plate dimensions, including our multiformat plates, and with two types of fluorescent indicators for UV detection. In addition to unmodified silica TLC plates, we also offer specialty TLC plates, including:

Well separated multiple bands on HPTLC plates visualized under UV-Visible light

HPTLC Plates

HPTLC plates provide decreased band diffusion and compact chromatographic zones or spots. HPTLC plates are available in various dimensions and backings, including our multiformat plates, and the option of two different fluorescent indicators. Our classic silica HPTLC plates enable fast and sensitive quantitative analysis of complex samples for both manual and instrumental use. We also offer a variety of specialty HPTLC plates, including:

Well-separated spots/bands on a TLC plate and mass spectrum of the separated spots

MS-Grade TLC and HPTLC plates

Our MS-Grade plates  enable direct mass spectrometric analysis of separated and dried samples on TLC and HPTLC plates. After chromatographic separation, our MS-Grade TLC plates can be used in either elution-based or desorption-based TLC-MS. MS-Grade plates are available either with or without fluorescent indicators and provide:

  • Trace analysis in the nanogram range
  • Low background signal and exceptional sensitivity
  • Equal performance a standard TLC and HPTLC plates
PLC plates with silica gel as the adsorbent and aluminum backing

Preparative TLC (PLC) plates

Preparative TLC plates are used for the analytical separation of large samples. Samples are typically loaded as a wide band rather than a spot and analyzed by UV-detection. Once resolved, sample bands are commonly recovered from the plate by scraping the adsorbent from the plate and eluting with a strong solvent

  • Available in both the modified and unmodified type of coating. 
  • 0.5 mm - 2 mm range of coating thickness
  • Available with or without fluorescent indicators
Thin layer chromatography silica gel adsorbent powder in a bottle

TLC Adsorbents

Our standardized TLC adsorbents are suitable for different TLC and PLC applications while providing reliable analytical results. We offer an extensive range of TLC adsorbents including: 

  • Different types of sorbent material such as silica gel 60, aluminum oxide, or cellulose
  • Various grades and particle sizes
  • With or without binder material
  • With or without the fluorescent indicators
The TLC Explorer Documentation System on a yellow background.

TLC Explorer Documentation System

Simplify TLC analysis with the TLC Explorer. Trust in the precision of digital imaging and automated spot detection for reliable quantitative analysis and consistent data interpretation.   

  • Simultaneous detection and measurement of TLC, HPTLC, and PLC plates
  • Quick picture caption in less than 2 minutes with automated crop & rotation function
  • Illuminates chromatogram from above in direct-light mode under 3 LED settings: 254 nm, 365 nm, and visible light, with automatic correction of background signals and inhomogeneous illumination  
  • Equipped with automated track recognition and retention factor (Rf) calculation, as well as solvent front and baseline detection. Adjustments can be made manually.
  • Uses video densitometric measurement for reliable TLC quantification

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