Instrumentation

The first instruments or tools specifically for TLC that appeared on the market were plate-coating devices, developing chambers derived from paper chromatog-raphy tanks and sample application tools.

In the early days of planar chromatography, plate-coating devices played an important role. They allowed the preparation of more or less uniform TLC layers of variable thickness. Besides primitive tools such as glass rods for spreading suspensions of adsorbents, there were two kinds of instruments. In one kind (Desaga, Shandon) a dispensing unit was moved over a series of glass plates. In the other kind (CAMAG), glass plates were moved beneath the dispenser. There have been motorized versions of both types of instruments. Even though some are still on the market today, such devices have lost their importance with the arrival of pre-coated plates in the late 1960s.

In the following paragraphs other instruments are discussed according to their designation: sample application, chromatogram development and chrom-atogram evaluation. For a review of today's state-of-the-art instrumentation, refer to the chapter on planar chromatography - instrumentation.

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