Getting Started in HPLC

Introduction

     
Welcome to the world of HPLC! At this point you may be wondering: "What's so special?" Right now - in your laboratory - this method of chemical analysis might be just an ancillary technique . . . or simply a job. But HPLC can be much more. First of all, today it is the most widely used technique of its kind for separating and analyzing mixtures of chemical substances. Individual compounds in a sample can be identified, and their concentrations can be measured accurately and precisely - often within a few minutes. And the technique can be applied to just about every kind of sample.


   
A second feature of HPLC is that it can work with rather simple equipment, and often with minimal training of the operator. This means that it is possible to get good results fairly quickly after getting started. Remember the old piece of practical advice: KISS or "Keep It Simple, Stupid"? For many applications, HPLC allows us to keep everything simple . . . and more reliable.


   
Another aspect of HPLC is that it can be even more powerful and efficient when we really know what is going on - and when we have more sophisticated equipment. Today there is an enormous amount of information available to allow us to get the most out of this technique. It is possible to spend literally a lifetime becoming an expert in HPLC. And there are excellent opportunities as our skill in this method advances: we can tackle increasingly more complex problems in chemical analysis, and jobs for people with these skills have been abundant since the introduction of HPLC in the late 1960s.


   
So the present on-line course is your introduction to an important area of science, one that may blossom into a lifetime career. Whatever your intentions are at the moment, it is possible to build your skills in HPLC for application in many different ways and for different goals. Welcome again, and good luck as you progress on this journey.


   
     
 

 


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Last revised: December 17, 2000.