Topics - HPLC

HPLC HPLC is generally considered to be an acronym for High Performance Liquid Chromatography. The first liquid chromatography columns were packed with particles 50 to 100 micron in diameter and, thus, the bed was relatively permeable and the mobile phase could be made to flow through the bed under gravity. The performance of such columns, however, was extremely poor and, as a result of an earlier (ca 1945) suggestion by Martin and Synge, the particle size was reduced, initially to about 15 micron and eventually to as little as 3 micron. These small particle packings produced a bed with a very high flow impedance and, consequently, very high pressures were required force the mobile phase through the column. The performance of such columns, however, was vastly improved and, thus, separations using very small particle were dubbed high performance liquid chromatography. At the time, however, some chromatographers considered the term rather pompous and preferred to interpret the acronym as meaning high pressure liquid chromatography. The more cynical interpreted the acronym as meaning high priced liquid chromatography.