Thin Layer Chromatography: Separate a mixture and monitor the progress of a reaction (NEW)

Time to complete course: 28 min.

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About Thin Layer Chromatography: Separate a mixture and monitor the progress of a reaction (NEW) Virtual Lab Simulation

Explore the interactions involved in Thin Layer Chromatography

Dr. One has been experimenting. In the Lab you can observe the separation of pigments in a spinach leaf, but how did they achieve this? Welcome to the world of Thin Layer Chromatography! Using a solvent, a stationary phase, a sample, and some time, you will be able to separate the components of a mixture. Learn about the interactions by taking a visit to the world’s largest TLC plate (awaiting official certification), and zoom into the stationary phase to observe how TLC separates a sample. 

Determine the mobile phase through trial and error 

After you have explored the interactions, it is time to determine the mobile phase solvent ratio for your own TLC plate. Trial combinations of different solvents to separate compounds with different polarities, until you have found the perfect mobile phase to separate the molecules of interest. The joys of a virtual lab means you get instant feedback, and don’t have to wait for several TLC plates to develop. 

Monitor the progress of a reaction via TLC and analyze the results

Once you have calculated the correct solvent ratio, it’s time to get to work. Assemble and run your own TLC experiment to monitor the progress of a reaction. Select the appropriate apparatus, experiment with how to handle and place the plate, and correctly spot the sample onto the stationary phase. Will you be able to successfully remove the plate from the chamber at the right time? After you have run the experiment, move onto analyzing your TLC plate under UV light, determining when the reaction has gone to completion. The virtual lab saves time again, with rapid results! Then you will cap it all off by measuring the distance the spots have moved to calculate the Rf value. Will you be able to successfully analyze your results and figure out at what time the reaction completed?  

Get Started Now

Interactions are key to understanding the chemistry behind this important lab technique. In this simulation you will learn the principles of Thin Layer Chromatography (TLC), diving into how polarity affects the separation of compounds. Experiment with different mobile phases to achieve the correct solvent ratio, monitor the progress of a reaction to determine when it has gone to completion, and analyze your results by calculating the correct Rf value.

Techniques in Lab

  • Thin Layer Chromatography (TLC)

Learning Objectives

  • Assemble, run, and analyze your own TLC experiment
  • Understand the key principles of Thin Layer Chromatography and how the mobile and stationary phases interact with a sample to enable separation
  • Monitor the progress of a reaction via TLC
  • Quantify and interpret the spots on a complete TLC plate
  • Measure migration distances and use them to determine the Rf values of different compounds of interest

Simulation Features

Length – 28 minutes
Accessibility mode – Available
Languages – English

Examples of Related Standards

University

1st year chemistry related

NGSS

CCC: Patterns, Cause and Effect
ETS1.C-H1
PS1.B-H3, HS-PS1-3

IB

Technique supports:
Chemistry B.9: Biological pigments

AP

Chemistry Unit 3.9: Separation of Solutions and Mixtures

Screenshots of Thin Layer Chromatography: Separate a mixture and monitor the progress of a reaction (NEW) Virtual Lab Simulation

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