It is carried out either in a column or a plane. The sample with the mobile liquid will pass through the column or the plane, which is packed with a stationary phase composed of irregularly or spherically shaped particles. Due to the differences in ion-exchange, adsorption, partitioning, or size, different solutes will interact with the stationary phase to different degrees, and therefore the separation of the compounds can be achieved and the transit time of the solutes through the column can be determined by utilising these differences.
Conventional LC is commonly used in preparative scale work to purify and isolate some components of a mixture. Nowadays liquid chromatography generally utilizes very small packing particles and a relatively high pressure for analytical separations of solutions, detection & quantification, referred to as high performance liquid chromatography (HPLC). HPLC can provide a very high resolution (up to parts per trillion) and a fast analysis time.