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Explain about thin layer chromatography.

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A sheet of glass is coated with a thin layer of adsorbent (cellulose, silica gel (or) Alumina). This sheet of glass is called chromplate or thin layer chromatography plate. After drying the plate, a drop of the mixture is placed just above one edge and the plate is then placed in a closed jar containing eluent (solvent) .

The eluent is drawn up the adsorbent layer by capillary action. The components of the mixture move up along with the eluent to different distances depending upon their degree of adsorption of each component of the mixture. It is expressed in terms of its retention factor (Rf) value.


The spots of coloured compounds are visible on TLC plate due to their original colour. The colourless compounds are viewed under Uy light or in another method using Iodine crystals or by using appropriate reagent.

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