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.

Use chromatography in a sentence

  • Dr. Huron carefully examined the gas chromatography results that she had received from the lab earlier that morning, looking for any inconsistencies.

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  • Steve's company you sent the samples of the substance out to a lab for analysis, but the chromatography analysis came back inconclusive.

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  • The chemistry student used gas chromatography to separate the various compounds in the liquid and identify them for his project.

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