chromatography

  

Definition

Method for separating the constituents of a solution (gas or liquid) by exploiting the different bonding properties of different molecules. Used in qualitative and quantitative analysis of biological and chemical substances, this technique employs two immiscible substances. One substance (a gas or liquid, called the mobile phase) transports the solution being analyzed through the other substance (a liquid or solid, called the stationary phase). The stationary phase absorbs or impedes different components of the solution to different degrees and, thus, causes their separation as different layers. Invented in 1906 by the Russian botanist Mikhail Tsvet (1872-1919). See also gas chromatography and thin layer chromatography.

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