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Glass-backed Analytical TLC Plates - Other Sorbents

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Other sorbents can also be used as TLC adsorbents for particular needs when satisfactory separations cannot be achieved by silica-based sorbents.
Aluminum oxide is the second most commonly used matrix, and it shows similar selectivity to that of silica. Popular applications include the separation for alkaloids, aliphatic compounds, aromatics, steroids, etc. It is manufactured with three different pH ranges: basic, acidic and neutral. Before use, the plates need to be activated by heating between 90° and 120°C for 10 minutes (since water molecules are easily adsorbed and can greatly influence separation).
Cellulose can be unmodified or positively charged at acidic and neutral pH. This adsorbent is hence frequently used for the partition of hydrophilic molecules and is also useful for challenging separations of sensitive biomolecules or molecules carrying ion exchange groups. The ratio of charged cellulose / unmodified cellulose can be varied, in order to provide more or less retention of negatively charged molecules.