qTLC.app - an educational platform to perform analytical chemistry with your smartphone.
We all use thin layer chromotography (TLC) routinely in experimental procedures as a simple method to physically separate chemicals in a solution. In our recent development on quantitative TLC (qTLC), we combined this well established workhorse with a simple protocol to allow precise quantitative read-out by very simple means.
The platform is based on a recent paper by our group in the Journal of Chemical Education (N. Mac Fhionnlaoich et al; vol. 95 (12), pp. 2191–2196, 2018), which is freely available as gold open access. The publication contains also comprehensive supporting material, including lesson plans, student handouts, software and all algorithms, in order to implement this tool in an educational setting.
Meanwhile, we have developed a web-app titled qTLC.app that allows to easily upload images (e.g. taken by your smartphone) and analyse them using a simple browser-based interface. The web-app is now in v2 and already tested by users across the globe. Please see also our recently published instructional video for a first glimpse of the platform:
We believe that this is a useful tool for students and researchers alike, and hope to see it widely implemented in classrooms and labs. Please provide your suggestions and feedback as we are keen to develop this further.