UCL Department of Chemical Engineering


New Thin Layer Chromotography (qTLC) Web App Toolkit Launched

26 February 2019

Ever done analytical chemistry with your smartphone? Check out the video below, our webapp and paper in the Journal of Chemical Education.

AdReNa Group launch new Thin Layer Chromotography (TLC) Toolkit Web App

The AdReNa Group at UCL Chemical Engineering are proud to announce the launch of their new Thin Layer Chromotography (qTLC) Toolkit Web Application.

Thin Layer Chromotography (TLC) is a simple and widely used method to physically separate chemicals in a solution. The new qTLC app (https://qtlc.app) now allows to quantify these compounds, enabling to perform analytical chemistry with your smartphone.

This works builds on a recent paper titled 'A Toolkit to Quantify Target Compounds in Thin-Layer-Chromatography Experiments', by N. Mac Fhionnlaoich et al., which was published in the Journal of Chemical Education (DOI: 10.1021/acs.jchemed.8b00144).


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.