TLC/HPTLC is a highly flexible analytical technique. The plate is the central element which is moved through the individual process steps. For each process step the parameters can be adjusted to the specific analytical task. The higher the demand on the final analytical result, the higher is the required level of automation.
Application of samples and references is the first step in the workflow of TLC/HPTLC and it affects significantly the quality of the result at the end of the process. The choice of the application technique and the device depend on the requirements of precision, sample volumes, number of analyses and the desired grade of automation. Application of bands by spray-on technique, using the CAMAG® HPTLC PRO Module APPLICATION, the CAMAG® Automatic TLC Sampler 4 (ATS 4), or the CAMAG® Linomat 5 allows the optimal application of samples. Starting zones in the form of narrow bands ensure the best resolution. Very large sample volumes or samples with a high matrix content can be sprayed-on in the form of rectangles with the CAMAG® Automatic TLC Sampler 4 (ATS 4) which, prior to chromatography, are focused into narrow bands by a short development step with a solvent of high elution strength.
Spotting samples using a fixed volume capillary is the simplest and cheapest way of sample application and generally used in conventional TLC. Sample volumes of 0.5 to 5 μL can be applied. It is recommended to guide the capillary by means of the CAMAG® Nanomat 4.