TLC Selection Guide

TLC Plate Type Description Features
Silica HD
Silica Gel High Definition Layer (HD) TLC plates feature an abrasion-resistant surface with outstanding dyeability. Excellent separation efficiency due to optimized particle size distribution. Outstanding dyeability and abrasion resistance.
Silica XHL
Silica Gel Extra Hard Layer (XHL) plates feature a newly developed binder system, resulting in an outstanding hardness of the silica layer. Outstanding abrasion resistance can mark plate with a lead pencil. Prevents damage when handling or transporting plates. UV indicator utilized permits increased sensitivity for trace analysis.
Silica G and Silica G Prep
This is a soft layer plate that uses Gypsum as its binding agent. For use in QC labs to adhere to European Pharmacopeia recommendations and as an alternative to organic binders used in traditional TLC plates. This softer binder permits easier scraping of the plate to isolate compounds.
Silica XG
Outstanding wettability for precise colorization results, even with 100% aqueous detection reagents. Aluminum backed plates with minimized flaking of the coating permits easy cutting without damage to the plate.
Silica Concentrating Zone
These plates contain a concentration zone serving as a "quick application zone", which allows a quantitative evaluation of chromatograms. Permits large volumes of dilute solutions to be applied. Reduces sample application error and evaporation time of sample when compared to traditional TLC plates, sharp bands produced.
Nano-Silica HD HPTLC
Contains a specific pore volume of 0.75 ml/g and particle size of 2-10 µm. Narrow fractionation of silica particles allows sharper separations, shorter developing times, shorter migration distances, and increased detection sensitivity.
Alumina N
Aluminum Oxide layer with a pH of about 6-8. Recommended when separation involves relatively nonpolar analytes. Use for absorption chromatography for terpenes, alkaloids, steroids, and aromatic compounds. Excellent separation of basic and neutral compounds.
C18-W HPTLC
Normal Phase or Reversed-Phase separation modes with eluents from anhydrous solvents to mixtures with high concentrations of water. Separation of very non-polar and highly polar substances using aqueous solvent systems. Use to determine solvent system composition for downstream HPLC analysis. Provides additional selectivity’s as compared to Silica Gel plates. Very fast migration times.
C18-50 HPTLC
Octadecyl-Modified Nano Silica Layers; Partial (50%) octadecyl modification, carbon content 7.5%. Reversed phase separation mode with eluents from anhydrous solvents to mixtures up to 60% of water. Use for· Alkaloids, amino acids, barbiturates, polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons (PAH), drugs, peptides, flavonoids, phenols, indole derivatives, steroids. The 50% carbon load is less retentive than the C18-100.
C18-100 HPTLC
Octadecyl-Modified Nano Silica Layers, Complete (100%) octadecyl modification, carbon content 14%. Reversed phase separation mode with eluents from anhydrous solvents to mixtures with up to 20% water. Use for· Alkaloids, amino acids, barbiturates, polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons (PAH), drugs, peptides, flavonoids, phenols, indole derivatives, steroids.
C2
Dimethyl-modified Nano Silica Layer. The C2 TLC plate can be developed with purely organic, organic/aqueous, and purely aqueous eluents. Lower retention than C-18W coated plates. Moderately polar can be used in both normal and reversed-phase modes. Exhibits higher polarity and high affinity of aqueous solutions, tolerating up to 80% water.
Amino HPTLC
Aminopropyl modification, carbon content 3.5% Moderately polar can be used in both normal and reversed-phase modes. Use to separate hydrophilic or charged samples, Vitamins, sugars, steroids, purine derivatives, xanthine, phenols, nucleotides, and pesticides
Cyano HPTLC
Cyanopropyl modification, carbon content 5.5% Moderately polar can be used in both normal and reversed-phase modes. Use to separate hydrophilic or charged samples. Steroid hormones, phenols, preservatives
Diol HPTLC
Diol modification, carbon content 5.5% Moderately polar can be used in both normal and reversed-phase modes. Steroids, pesticides, and plant constituents, less sensitive than silica to the water environment

Which Backing is Best for Your Research?

Glass-Backed TLC Plates
most often used in TLC

  • Glass support (about 1.3 mm thick)
  • Provides chemical resistance and is easy to handle
  • Plates can be easily cut with Sorbtech TLC plate cutter
  • More fragile and heavier
  • Requires additional protective packaging material
  • Suitable for charring techniques

Aluminum-Backed TLC Plates

  • Aluminum support (about 0.15 mm thick)
  • Mechanically stable
  • Cut easily with scissors to any required size
  • Recommended for eluents containing high concentrations of water
  • Suitable for charring techniques
  • Problems may occur when using eluents that react with aluminum such as mineral acids or concentration ammonia

Plastic-Backed TLC Plates

  • Polyester support (about 0.2 mm thick)
  • Resistant to all common solvents
  • Cut easily with scissors to any required size
  • Requires less packing and storage space
  • Low-temperature charring techniques only

Evaluation of a TLC chromatogram

The evaluation depends on the purpose of the chromatographic analysis. For qualitative determinations often localization of substances is sufficient. This can be easily achieved by parallel runs with reference standards. A parameter often used for qualitative evaluation is the Rf  value (retention factor) or the 100-fold value hRf

The Rf value is defined as follows:

For example, your Rf values are between 0 and 1 but are best between 0.1 and 0.8 (i.e. 10–80 for hRf). If reproducible Rf values are to be obtained, several parameters such as chamber saturation, the composition of solvent mixtures, temperature, etc. must be strictly controlled.