The eluent, the type of application and sample preparation are not the only criteria for successful thin-layer chromatography (TLC). The choice of the right TLC layer also contributes significantly to the quality. The selection here is large so that some help is given in the following:
It is worth mentioning that TLC as well as HPLC can be used as a normal phase or a reverse phase system. In normal phases, the most common stationary phase is the silica gel. Its stability over a wide pH range and the high selectivity with a large number of different solvents allows a wide range of applications. Normal phase (NP) TLC is mainly used for adsorption chromatography separations.
The supply of stationary phases is broader for reverse phase TLC: in addition to the silica gel as a polar phase, non-polar phases such as RP-18 or medium-polar phases such as RP-2 or aminopropyl or cyanopropyl phases can also be used. Regarding silica gel plates, a prior activation should generally be renounced if it is not specifically required. This results in an initial state which restricts the reproducibility of the results.
In addition to the above-mentioned phases, Lichrospher offers another option. The spherical shape of the 5 μm small particles allows an extremely high separation quality with shortened running time. Therefore, Lichrospher-Si-60 layers are recommended for quantitative work.
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