High Performance Liquid Chromatography (HPLC) is a form of column chromatography that pumps a sample mixture or analyte in asolvent (known as the mobile phase) at high pressure through a column with chromatographic packing material (stationary phase). HPLC has the ability to separate, and identify compounds that arepresent in any sample that can be dissolved in a liquid in trace concentrations as low as parts per trillion. Because of this versatility, HPLC is used in a variety of industrial and scientificapplications, such as pharmaceutical, environmental, forensics, and chemicals.
Sample retention time will vary depending on the interaction between the stationary phase, the molecules being analyzed, and thesolvent, or solvents used. As the sample passes through the column it interacts between the two phases at different rate, primarily due to different polarities in the analytes. Analytes that have theleast amount of interaction with the stationary phase or the most amount of interaction with the mobile phase will exit the column faster.
Main components in an HPLC system includethe solvent reservoir, or multiple reservoirs, a high-pressure pump, a column, injector system and the detector.
The reservoir holds the solvent, which is referred to as the mobile phasebecause it moves. There are usually a minimum of two reservoirs in a system, with each holding up to 1000 cc of solvent and usually fitted with a gas diffuser through which helium can be bubbled. A pumpis used to generate a specified flow of the mobile phase. Although manual injection of samples is still possible, most HPLCs are now fully automated and controlled by computer. The injector, or auto...