The kinetic performance of stabilized particle layers, particle membranes, and thin films for thin-layer chromatography is reviewed with a focus on how layer characteristics and experimental conditions affect the observed plate height. Forced flow and pressurized planar electrochromatography are identified as the best candidates to overcome the limited performance achieved by capillary flow for stabilized particle layers. For conventional and high performance plates band broadening is dominated by molecular diffusion at low mobile phase velocities typical of capillary flow systems and by mass transfer with a significant contribution from flow anisotropy at higher flow rates typical of forced flow systems. There are few possible changes to the structure of stabilized particle layers that would significantly improve their performance for capillary flow systems while for forced flow a number of avenues for further study are identified. New media for ultra thin-layer chromatography shows encouraging possibilities for miniaturized high performance systems but the realization of their true performance requires improvements in instrumentation for sample application and detection. © 2010 Elsevier B.V.
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