Thin layer chromatography (TLC) is an important technique for identification and separation of mixtures of organic compounds. It is useful in:
Identification of components of a mixture (using appropriate standards)
following the course of a reaction, analyzing fractions collected during purification, analyzing the purity of a compound.
In TLC, components of the mixture are partitioned between an adsorbent (the stationary phase, usually silica gel, SiO2) and a solvent ( the mobile phase) which flows through the adsorbent.