A Toolkit to Quantify Target Compounds in Thin-Layer-Chromatography Experiments

Niamh Mac Fhionnlaoich, Stuart Ibsen, Luis A. Serrano, Alaric Taylor, Runzhang Qi, Stefan Guldin

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

7 Scopus citations


Thin-layer chromatography (TLC) is one of the basic analytical procedures in chemistry and allows the demonstration of various chemical principles in an educational setting. An often-overlooked aspect of TLC is the capability to quantify isolated target compounds in an unknown sample. Here, we present a suitable route to implement quantitative analysis in a lesson plan. We provide both a stand-alone software and an online webapp that allow students to obtain quantitative information from a developed TLC plate and present two suitable experiments, namely, the absorbance-based quantification of the colorant Sudan IV and the fluorescence-based quantification of rhodamine 6G, a fluorophore widely used in biotechnology. Students conduct TLC experiments following established protocols, take pictures of their TLC plates with mobile phones, and subsequently quantify the different compounds in the separate bands they observe.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)2191-2196
Number of pages6
JournalJournal of Chemical Education
Issue number12
StatePublished - Dec 11 2018
Externally publishedYes


  • Analytical Chemistry
  • Computer-Based Learning
  • Continuing Education
  • Demonstrations
  • Environmental Chemistry
  • First-Year Undergraduate/General
  • General Public
  • Graduate Education/Research
  • Hands-On Learning/Manipulatives
  • High School/Introductory Chemistry
  • Inquiry-Based/Discovery Learning
  • Laboratory Computing/Interfacing
  • Laboratory Equipment/Apparatus
  • Laboratory Instruction
  • Microscale Lab
  • Problem Solving/Decision Making
  • Public Understanding/Outreach
  • Quantitative Analysis
  • Second-Year Undergraduate
  • Student-Centered Learning
  • Thin Layer Chromatography
  • Upper-Division Undergraduate

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Chemistry(all)
  • Education


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