Principles and Practice of Chromatography - Thin Layer Chromatography Apparatus > Thin Layer Chromatography Chambers > Page 62

Schraiber not only invented thin layer chromatography in 1939 but also was the first to use fluorescence as the separation indicator or detection system. Unfortunately, Schraiber's work does not seem to have been heeded and the technique appears to have been rediscovered by Kirchner in 1951 (12).

Although thin layer chromatography (TLC) phase systems are basically the same as those used in LC, the equipment required is far simpler and very much less expensive. Furthermore, as many separations can be carried out simultaneously by multiple spotting, analysis times are much shorter and there can be as many as 60 samples per plate which, in effect means that each analysis will only take about 5 seconds to complete. Resolution obtained from TLC is far less than that obtainable by LC but, as a result of the cost advantage, the technique is very widely used. In fact, despite the many advances that have taken place in LC techniques over the past years, the use of TLC for routine analyses continues to grow. However, samples containing multiple components cannot be separated by TLC due to restricted plate capacity. In TLC all the solutes must be contained by the plate whereas in LC, as the solutes are eluted from the column, the component capacity is much greater.

Thin Layer Chromatography Chambers

A diagram of two simple thin layer chromatography development chambers is shown in figure 29.

Figure 29 The Normal Method of Thin Layer Plate Development