High performance (or high pressure) liquid chromatography (HPLC) is a separation technique in which a sample mixture is introduced into a stream of solvent (the mobile phase) which then flows over a surface (the stationary phase) consisting of either spherical particles or a film coated onto such particles. Separation results from differences between sample components in their relative affinity for the stationary and mobile phases.

The following diagram show the main parts of a typical bench-top HPLC system. Click on the any part to jump to that page, or use the trail guide below to follow in sequence:

cartoon diagram of an HPLC system hplc solvents hplc pump parts sample injector hplc column hplc detectors

HPLC:   solvents →  pump →  injector →  column →  detector