High-performance liquid chromatography (HPLC) is a powerful analytical technique used in chemistry, biochemistry, and other related fields for separating and identifying individual components in a mixture. HPLC is based on the principle of partition chromatography, in which a sample is dissolved in a liquid mobile phase and passed through a stationary phase that is packed in a column. The stationary phase is typically a solid material with a large surface area, such as silica or a polymer, which allows for efficient separation of the components in the sample.
HPLC is a highly sensitive technique, capable of detecting very low concentrations of analytes. It can be used to separate and analyze a wide range of molecules, including small molecules, proteins, nucleic acids, and carbohydrates. HPLC can also be used for quantitative analysis, allowing for the determination of the concentration of a particular analyte in a sample.
There are several different types of HPLC, including reversed-phase, normal-phase, ion-exchange, and size-exclusion chromatography, each of which is suited for specific applications. HPLC is widely used in pharmaceuticals, environmental analysis, food science, and many other fields, making it an essential analytical tool in modern research and development.