In-situ densitometry for qualitative or quantitative purposes is a key step in thin-layer chromatography (TLC). It is a simple means of quantification by measurement of the optical density of the separated spots directly on the plate. A new scanner has been developed which is capable of measuring TLC or HPTLC (high-performance thin-layer chromatography) plates simultaneously at different wavelengths without damaging the plate surface. Fiber optics and special fiber interfaces are used in combination with a diode-array detector. With this new scanner sophisticated plate evaluation is now possible, which enables use of chemometric methods in HPTLC. Different regression models have been introduced which enable appropriate evaluation of all analytical questions. Fluorescent measurements are possible without filters or special lamps and signal-to-noise ratios can be improved by wavelength bundling. Because of the richly structured spectra obtained from PAH, diode-array HPTLC enables quantification of all 16 EPA PAH on one track. Although the separation is incomplete all 16 compounds can be quantified by use of suitable wavelengths. All these aspects are enable substantial improvement of in-situ quantitative densitometric analysis.
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