High performance liquid chromatography (HPLC) is a form of column chromatography used frequently in biochemistry and analytical chemistry to separate, identify, and quantify compounds based on their interactions with the column's stationary phase. HPLC utilizes different types of stationary phase, a pump that moves the mobile phase and analyte through the column, and a detector that provides a charateristic retention time for the analyte. The detector may also provide other characterisitc information. Analyte retention time varies depending on the strength of its interactions with the stationary phase, temperature, the ratio/composition of solvents used, and the flow rate of the mobile phase.
With HPLC, a pump provides the higher pressure required to propels the mobile phase and analyte through the densely packed column. The increased density arises from smaller particle sizes. This allows for a better separation on columns of shorter length when compared to ordinary column chromatography.