Thin layer chromatography (TLC) is used for identifying the compounds, finding out their purity and optimizing the solvent by separating the desired compound. To carry out the separation using this TLC technique, an adsorbent in the powdered form is used as a thin layer. Here, stationary phase consists of solid adsorbent such as silica or alumina coated on glass, plastic support, whereas the mobile phase consists of a solvent or mixture of the solvents. This material is then applied on the glass plate, aluminum foil or plastic sheet or plate.
The chromatographic process completely depends on the type of adsorbent used, its adsorption capacity and the nature of solvents used. Silica gel, alumina and cellulose can be used as the adsorbents. Usually, silica gel is preferred than other adsorbents to get easy, simple and quick results. TLC is commonly used in organic chemistry
where there is a need to identify the compounds present in the mixture or solvent and also to get the particular compound separated from the mixture. No matter how many components are present in a mixture, TLC has the power to support the identity of a compound.