# Do polar compounds travel further or less far than unpolar ones in hexane/ethyl acetate TLCs?

Would ethyl acetate/hexane be considered nonpolar or polar overall? I know that the ethyl acetate is polar and the hexane is nonpolar. I am trying to understand what if polar or nonpolar analgesics would travel further in TLC. I know that if ethyl acetate/hexane is polar than a more polar one will travel further, and if it is nonpolar then nonpolar will travel further.

I was looking here and I see that caffeine is the most polar (out of aspirin and acetaminophen) and traveled the least distance (lowest $R_\mathrm{f}$) in my experiment. I thought that ethyl acetate/hexane was polar so I would have thought caffeine would be the least polar since it traveled the shortest.

So am I wrong that ethyl acetate/hexane is polar or are they wrong that caffeine is the most polar?

• For normal phase TLC the more polar compound always travels slower. Feb 28 '17 at 18:45
• The link seems to have disappeared. Ethyl acetate is polar. Hexane is non-polar. So by using a mixture of the two you can get solutions of varying polarity. Adjusting polarity that way is easier than trying to find 10 different solvents of varying polarity.
– MaxW
Feb 28 '17 at 18:46
• I used a silica gel for the plate... Does that make it normal phase TLC? Feb 28 '17 at 18:48
• Basically using a polar stationary phase (which a silica plate is) makes it normal phase TLC.
– MaxW
Feb 28 '17 at 19:12