What role does polarity play in chromatography?
Polarity has a huge affect on how attracted a chemical is to other substances. The larger the charge difference, the more polar a molecule is. You will find that as you increase the polarity of the solvent, all the components of the mixture move faster during your chromatography experiment.
Non-polar molecules in the mixture that you are trying to separate will have little attraction for the water molecules attached to the cellulose, and so will spend most of their time dissolved in the moving solvent. Molecules like this will therefore travel a long way up the paper carried by the solvent.
- Chlorophyll is a green pigment that gives most plants their color.The reason that it is green is because it absorbs other colors of light such as red and blue, so in a way the green light is reflected out since the pigment does not absorb it.
- The amount that each component of a mixture travels can be quantified using retention factors (Rf). The retention factor of a particular material is the ratio of the distance the spot moved above the origin to the distance the solvent front moved above the origin.
- In chromatography, the retardation factor (R) is the fraction of an analyte in the mobile phase of a chromatographic system. In planar chromatography in particular, the retardation factor Rf is defined as the ratio of the distance traveled by the center of a spot to the distance traveled by the solvent front.
Updated: 2nd October 2019