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HPLC Abbreviations and Acronyms

 

It can be very annoying when scientists use acronyms, and you can't think what they mean! So just in case we have done it ourselves, here's a list for starters. If you find any that are relevant to HPLC that we have missed out, please send us an email with your suggestion to stuart@laserchrom.co.uk

HPLC Abbreviations and Acronyms, in alphabetical order:

%B
The amount of organic modifier (eg acetonitrile) added to water in a reversed phase eluent.
λ
Lambda. The symbol for wavelength
Δ P
Pressure difference, eg across a column.
μ
Mu. The symbol for micro. eg μm means microns, or micrometres, μl = microlitres etc.
2,2,4-TMP
2,2,4-TriMethyl Pentane. Also known as iso-Octane

α

Alpha, the symbol for selectivity in the resolution equation.
A/D
Analogue to Digital. As in A/D converter. Used to convert a 0-1V analogue detector signal into a digital signal which can be processed by a computer data system. An A/D converter has a bit number which is a measure of the resolution it can achieve.
A/S
Autosampler
AA
Atomic Absortption Spectroscopy
Alternating Current or Direct Current. eg on the back of a detector will be a voltage setting of 1VDC, meaning 1 Volt Direct Current for an input connection
ACN
Acetonitrile
Ag
Silver
Amb
Ambient. Usually means that HPLC is run without a column heater. Not recommended.
Anal
Analytical scale.
APCI
Atmospheric Pressure Chemical Ionisation. An interface and ionisation technique in LC-MS
As
Asymmetry. A measure of the symmetry (ie lack of tailing) of a gaussian peak.
Atm
Atmospheres. A unit of pressure. =15psi or 1 Bar
Au
Gold
AU
Absorption Units. Calculated from the Beer Lambert law. It is a log scale so values cannot be subtracted. To subtract a baseline for example, use the values in millivolts.
AUFS
Absorption Units Full Scale. A measure of the concentration range being displayed.
bar
Unit of pressure, = approx 15 psi
BCD
Binary Coded Decimal. An old communication type, using the binary style numbers (2,4,8, 16 etc) but with a column for 10's as well. Requires a special BCD cable, and connects into the BCD sockets on the back of certain HPLC instruments.
BHT
Butylated Hydroxy Toluene. Used as a stabiliser for stabilised THF. Does not mix with water, so unsuitable for reversed phase HPLC, and absorbs UV strongly at 254nm, so not much use if using a UV detector.
bis
N,N'-methylene bis acrylamide
BNC
Bayonet Neill-Concelman. A type of connector used in some HPLC equipment and computer networks. Follow this link for a picture etc. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/BNC_Connector
BSA
Bovine Serum Albumin. Used as stationary phase in some Type 5 Chiral columns.
C8
Octyl. A reversed phase packing material.
CD
Circular Dichroism. A technique used for a rare type of HPLC detector
CD
Cyclodextrin. A material used in chiral HPLC columns.
CE
Capillary Electrophoresis.
CEC
Capillary Electrokinetic Chromatography
CF-FAB
Continuous Flow Fast Atom Bombardment. An interface and ionisation technique in Mass Spec
Ci
Curie. Unit of radioactivity.
CI
Chemical Ionisation. An indirect ionisation technique in Mass Spec.
CLHP
Chromatographie Liquide avec Haut Pressure. This is what the French call HPLC.
CM
Carboxymethyl. A weak cation exchanger.
CN
Cyano. A normal phase packing material.
COAX
A type of cable used in some HPLC equipment and computer networks. It is much less susceptible to induced voltages etc because each core surround the one inside it, with an insulating sheath in between. Follow this link for pictures and more details: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Coax
COSHH
Control of Substances Hazardous to Health. UK legislation which requires a risk assessment to be carried out before analytical procedures are undertaken
CV
Check Valve. eg CV Cartridge
CZE
Capillary Zone Electrophpresis
DAD
Diode Array Detector. Also known as a PDA
DC
Dunnsicht Chromatographie. German for TLC.
DC
Direct Current. eg from a battery. The opposite of Alternating current, eg from mains electricity.
DCE
Data Circuit terminating Equipment. The instrument on the receiving end of an RS232 link. The male socket of the cable is used at this end.
DCM
Dichloromethane
DEAE
Diethylaminoethyl. A weak anion exchanger.
DI
De-ionised, as in water
dil
dilute, as in acid
DIN
DMF
Dimethyl Formamide
DMSO
Dimethyl Sulfoxide
DNA
Deoxy Ribo Nucleic Acid
Dns
Dansyl. A fluorescent derivativatisation process used with fluorescence detection to enhance sensitivity.
DNS
Domain Name System. A LAN setting
DQ
Design Qualification. A precursor to IQOQPQ. Design Qualification is an assessment of an instrument regarding its fitness for purpose. Always a good idea when making a major purchase!
D-SUB
The standard D-shaped "subminiature" connectors used in computer connections. For pictures etc, follow this link: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/D-Sub
DTE
Data Terminal Equipment. The computer end of an RS232 link. This will use the female socket on the cable.
ECD
Electrochemical Detector
EDTA
Ethylene Diamine Tetraacetic Acid.
EI
Electron Ionisation. An ionisation technique used in Mass Spec which gives rise to molecular fragmentation
ELSD
EMD
Evaporative Mass Detector, same as an ELSD
ESI
Electrospray Ionisation. An ionisation and interface technique in LC-MS
EtOEt
Diethyl ether
EtOH
Ethanol
F
Fluorescence
FAB
Fast Atom Bombardment. Ionisation proces in Mass Spec.
FC
Fraction Collector
FID
Flame Ionisation Detector. A universal detector used mainly for GC but being tried for HPLC
FMOC
9-Fluorenyl methoxy carbonyl chloride.
FPD
Flame Photometric Detector. A GC detection system.
FPLC
Fast Protein Liquid Chromatography. A name used by Pharmacia for the HPLC of proteins.
FT
Fourier Transform. Mathmatical process applied to the collection of large numbers of data and summing to enhance the signal:noise ratio.
FTIR
Fourier Transform Infrared
G
Gauss. A unit of magnetism.

GC

Gas Chromatography
GC-MS
Gas Chromatography - Mass Spectrometry

GFC

GLC

Gas Liquid Chromatography
GLP
Good Laboratory Practice
GMP
Good Manufacturing Practice

GPC

GPIB
General Purpose Interface Bus. Derived from the HPIB, developed by Hewlett Packard which proved so successful that everyone wanted to use it. Requires special cables which can be daisy-chained, and equipment on the bus must each have a unique ID. At the computer end, a GPIB controller card is required.
GSIOC
Gilson System Input Output Controller. The communication bus used for a number of Gilson Instruments. Uses RS422 communication protocol. Connects to the computer via RS232 port, and then has an RS232-> RS422 interface, which connects to the instruments. Each instrument must have a unique id, set from dip switches at the back or set through the keyboard.
HAc
Acetic Acid
Hb
Haemoglobin
Hb A1c
Glycated Haemoglobin.
HDPE
High density Polyethylene
He
Helium. Used for degassing in HPLC.
HETP
Height Equivalent to a Theoretical Plate. The smaller the value, the sharper the peaks!

HIC

HPIB
Hewlett Packard Interface Bus. Communication system originally developed by Hewlett Packard. See GPIB.
High Performance Liquid Chromatography
HP-TLC
High Performance Thin Layer Chromatography. Small plates, small spots, small particles!
HV
High Voltage. Don't point to anywhere near where you see this sign!
Hz
Hertz. = per second. 10Hz = 10 times per second.
Internal diameter. eg tubing can be 1.0mm i.d or 0.040" Column id is usually given in mm.(OK milimetres!)

IC

Ion Chromatography, or integrated circuit
ICP
Inductively Coupled Plasma
ID
Identity
IEX
IgA, IgG
Immunoglobulin A, Immunoglobulin G
IP
Internet Protocol. For LAN control of a system each device will need an IP address, which must be unique.
IPA
Isopropyl Alcohol
IPLC
Ion Pair Liquid Chromatography. Essentially RP-HPLC with an ion pair reagent in the eluent.
IQ
Installation Qualification. Part of IQOQPQ. This is a check that everything that should be installed is installed, all in its correct places with the right connections etc.
IR
Infrared
IS
Internal Standard.
ISA
Industry Standard Architecture. The older, larger sockets inside computers for connecting old-style interface cards. EISA (Extended ISA) are the long sockets. If you have an interface card with either ISA or EISA connectors at the bottom, this will only be useable in older computers (at least 5 years old!)
IU
International Unit
J
Joules. SI unit of energy or work.
K
Potassium
K
Distribution Constant. the % partition of a sample between the stationary and mobile phases. Can also stand for Kelvin, the unit of Absolute temperature.
k'
Relative Retention time. An important parameter in the resolution equation.
kg, kgf
Kilograms, and Kilograms Force. kgf/cm2 =15psi or 1 Bar
LALLD
Low Angle Laser Light Scattering Detector
LAN
Local Area Network. The computer network in your building. Computers will be connected via a cable or via a wireless link. HPLC equipment can sometimes be linked into the LAN directly.
LC/MS/MS
As per LC/MS, but with the ions trapped out and submitted to a secondary ionisation and fragmentation for structural analysis
LCEC
Liquid Chromatography with Electrochemical Detection
Liquid Chromatography with Mass Spectrometry detection
LDPE
Low Density Polyethylene
LDV
Low Dead Volume
LIMS
Laboratory Information Management System
LLSD
Laser Light Scattering detector. NOT the same as an ELSD.
LOD
Limit of Detection. This is the smallest concentration of sample that can be detected with a given system. Usually this is defined as the sample leel which gives a s/n ratio of 3.
LOQ
Limit of Quantitation. This is the lowest sample concentration which can be accurately quantified by a given system. Usually this is defined as the sample concentration which gives a s/n of 30.
LSC
Liquid Scintillation Counting
LSC
Liquid-Solid Chromatography. An old term used to describe HPLC as opposed to GC
m/e or m/z
Mass to charge ratio. Used with Mass Spec detection.
MALDI
Matrix Assisted Laser Desorption Ionisation. Mass Spec Ionisation process used with large molecules such as proteins. Often used with a Time of flight Mass Spec (MALDI-TOF)
MDQ
Minimum Detectable Quantity. See also LOD.
Me
Methyl. A CH3 goup on a molecule
MeCN
Acetonitrile
MEK
Methyl Ethyl Ketone. Also known as Butan-2-one.
MeOH
Methanol
MiBK
Methyl isoButyl Ketone. Also known as 4-methyl 2-pentanone.
MPa
MegaPascals. A unit of pressure. = approx 150psi or 10 Bars
MW
Molecular Weight
Mz
Average molecular weight. A mass spec term.
N

Efficiency (from Number of theoretical plates). A parameter from the resolution equation, and a measure of the sharpness of the peaks.

N/m2
Newtons. Unit of force. N/m2 is a unit of pressure, Newtons per square metre. = 15psi
Na
Sodium
NADP
Nicotinamide Adenine Dinucleotide Phosphate
NC/NO
Normally Closed and Normally Open. These relate to contact closures, which can be normall open ( a signal is sent when the contatcs are closed momentarily) or normally closed (a signal is sent when the contact is broken momentarily)
ng
nanogram. = 0.000 000 001g
NH2
Amino. Normal phase column packing.
NH4
Ammonium. As in buffer salts.
nm
nanometres. 0.000 000 001 metres. A unit used for wavelength of light.
NMR
Nuclear Magnetic Resonance
Outer diameter . tubing or column o.d. is usually given in inches. eg 1/4" for an analytical column.
ODS
Octa Decyl Silane. =C18. Reversed phase column packing.
OPA
ortho-Phthalaldehyde. A fluorescence derivatisation reagent, used mainly post-column, for amino acids etc.
OPLC
Over Pressure Liquid Chromatography. A form of TLC with the plate enclosed and the eluent under pressure.
OQ
Operational Qualification. Part of IQOQPQ. This is check that something does what it says on the tin. It is essentially a series of tests to check that the instrument operates to the manufacturers specification. It is not a system suitability test!
Pa
Pascal. A unit of pressure. See MPa.
PAH
Poly Aromatic Hydrocarbon.
PB
Particle Beam. An interface technique in Mass Spec.
PCB
Poly Chlorinated Biphenyl. See PAH

PCB

Printed Circuit Board
PCI
Peripheral Connect Interface. The standard sockets inside a computer for connecting interface card (eg A/D converter cards or graphic cards).
Pd
Palladium
PDA
Photo Diode Array detector. Monitor all wavelengths with time.
PEEK
Poly Ethyl Ether Ketone. A polymer used in HPLC tubing, and in pumpheads and fittings for Ion Chromatography.
pg
picogram. =0.000 000 000 001g
PGC
Porous Glassy Carbon. Used as an electrode in Electrochemical Detection
pH
Literally per Hydrogen. A measure of acidity. Low pH is acid, high pH is alkaline or basic.
Ph
Phenyl. Used to represent a benzene ring on a molecule.
PID
Photo Ionisation Detection. A GC detection system.
PITC
Phenyl Isothiocyanate. Derivatisation Reagent
pKa
The dissociation constant for an acid (eg a buffer).
PP
Polypropylene
ppm, ppb, ppt
parts per million, parts per billion, parts per trillion. Be careful what people mean by billion and trillion!
ppte
Precipitate. Not a word you want to hear in HPLC.
PQ
Performance Qualification. Part of IQOQPQ. This is a check that the equipment is suitable to carry out the required analysis.
Prep
Preparative. Systems designed on a larger scale so that sample components can be collected as pure fractions at the end, usually using a fraction collector.
PS-DVB
Poly Styrene - Divinyl Benzene. A polymeric column packing material.
psi
Pounds per square inch. A unit of pressure, used by a lot of pumps to display system back-pressure.
Pt
Platinum
PT
Peak Threshold. A setting required by all data systems to define where the noise level stops and the peaks start. Measured in mV or AU. The setting used should be about double the size of the overall noise level.
PTFE
Poly Tetra Fluoro Ethylene. aka Teflon!
PTH
Phenyl Thiohydantoin. Fluorescence derivatisation reagent, usually used pre-column.
PVA
Poly Vinyl Alcohol. Polar polymer used as an HPLC packing.
PW
Peak Width. A setting required by all data systems to define the width of the smallest peak. The units are time, and the setting should be approx the width at half height of the smallest peak that might be measured.
QA
Quality Assurance.
QA
Quarternary Ammonium. A strong anion exchanger.
Quad
Quadrupole. A type of mass Spectral Analyser. Available as a Single Quad or Triple Quad.
RF
Response factor. Used in calibrating an HPLC system.
RF
Radio Frequency.
RI
RIA
Radio Immunoassay
rms
root mean square
RNA
Ribonucleic Acid
Reversed Phase High Performance Liquid Chromatography
RPLC
Reversed Phase Liquid Chromatography
RPTLC
Reversed Phase TLC.
Rs
Resolution. A parameter which can be calculated from the chtromatogram. It is proportional to efficiency, relative retention time and selectivity, and an Rs of >1.5 is required for baseline separation of two peaks.Critical Resolution is the resolution of the worst resolved two peaks in a chromatogram.
RS232
Serial Communication Bus used by many computers. It is not plug and play, so a reboot is required when changes are made or new devices plugged in. Unless a smartbox of some sort is used, instruments are identified by the port number into which they are connected, eg COM5. It is becomming rarer to even find a COM port on a computer these days, but for about £20 you can buy a card which gives another 2 COM ports and a spare parallel (LPT) port.
RSD
Relative Standard Deviation
RTM
Read the Manual
S
Siemens. Unit of conductance. Usually measure uS per square centimetre for Conductivity detection.
S/N ratio
Signal to Noise Ratio. For LOD, a s/n of 3 is acceptable, but for LOQ, and value of 30 is desireable, although some companies will accept a value of 10 in exchange for a much higher error level.
s/s
Stainless Steel
SAX
Strong Anion Exchanger
SCX
Strong Cation Exchanger
SDS, SLS
Sodium Dodecyl Sulfate. A surfactant, also known as Sodium Lauryl Sulfate
SDVB
Styrene Divinyl Benzene. A rigid polymer used as an HPLC Column packing.
SEC
Size Exclusion Chromatography. A general term encompassing GPC and GFC.
SEM
Scanning Electron Microscopy.
SFC
Supercritical Fluid Chromatography
SFE
Supercritical Fluid Extraction
SI units
Systeme Internationale. The International System of Units, using metres, kilograms, seconds, Joules, Watts etc
Sil
Silica. An underivatised normal phase column.
SIM
Single Ion Monitoring. A Mass Spec term meaning that only one molecular weight ion is monitored, giving a higher sensitivity for that ion, at the expense of detecting other ions.

SMT

Surface Mount Technology
SOP
Standard Operating Procedure
SOS
Sodium Octyl Sulfate

SPE

Solid Phase Extraction
t0
Void volume
tBu
A tertiary Butyl group on a molecule
TCP/IP
Transmission Control Protocol/ Internet Protocol. Computers must have a TCP/IP setting to be connected to a LAN.
TFA
Trifluoro Acetic Acid
THF
Tetrahydrofuran
TIC
Total Ion Count. Used in mass spec. Displays the abundance of all detected ions against time, giving a total chromatogram of everything detected by the mass spec.
TLA
Three letter acronym!

TLC

Thin Layer Chromatography, or Tender Loving Care!
TMS
Trimethylsilyl-. A reagent used to end cap a reversed phase HPLC column. Some columns have this as the bonded phase.
TMS
Trimethylsilane. An end-capping reagent.
TOF
Time of Flight. A type of Mass Spectral Analyser
tr
Retention time
tris
trishydroxymethylaminomethane  or 2-amino-2-hydroxymethyl-1,3-propanediol. Follow this link for a structure etc: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Tris_buffer
TS
Thermospray Ionisation. An ionisation technique in Mass Spec
TTL
A start signal involving a single wire, the signal being given by a voltage change.
uhf
Ultra high frequency
UPLC
Ultra Performance Liquid Chromatography. Developed by Waters, this is a form of HPLC using very high back pressures (up to 18,000psi) to force the eluent through v ery small particle short columns.
USB
Universal Serial Bus. The most widely used means of connecteing devices to a computer. It is Plug and Play, so no reboot is necessary, but for this reason Windows NT cannot suupport USB ports. Note that USB 2 (almost universal now) is 40 times faster than the original USB.
UV
Ultraviolet. eg a UV detector, or the UV spectrum (190-400nm).
UV-VIS
The Ultraviolet and Visible region of the spectrum. ie from 190nm to 800nm.
v/v or w/v
volume for volume or weight to volume. Used in dissolving samples or making dilutions.
viz
namely
VMA
Vanillyl Mandelic Acid
Vol %
Volume percent
W
Watts. SI unit of Power.
WAX
Weak Anion Exchanger
WCX
Weak Cation Exchanger
XRF
X-ray Fluorescence
XS
Excess, as in concentration
ZDV
Zero Dead Volume