HPLC systems

HPLC instrumentation includes a pump, injector, column, detector and recorder or data system, connected as shown in the Figure below. The heart of the system is the column where separation occurs. Since the stationary phase is composed of micrometer size porous particles, a high pressure pump is required to move the mobile phase through the column. The chromatographic process begins by injecting the solute onto the top of the column. Separation of components occurs as the analytes and mobile phase are pumped through the column. Eventually, each component elutes from the column as a narrow band (or peak) on the recorder. Detection of the eluting components is important, and this can be either selective or universal, depending upon the detector used. The response of the detector to each component is displayed on a chart recorder or computer screen and is known as a chromatogram. To collect, store and analyze the chromatographic data, computers, integrators, and other data processing equipment are frequently used.

Functional schematic of a modern HPLC instrument.

In this introductory part, we should familiarise ourselves with the various parts of the LC system; more detailed information will be found in the later chapters. Figure above is a sensitive map, by clicking on any part of the instrument you will be addressed to the certain topic.