Cyanine dye

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A series of dyestuffs whose chromophore is due to conjugated carbon-carbon bonds in the backbone of the molecule. This type of chromophore occurs naturally in many products, such as carotene. Cyanine dyes were first synthetsized in 1873. Also called polymethine dyes, these compounds have poor lightfastness and are rarely used on textiles. They are, however, used to make silver halide photographic plates sensitive to a greater range of light.

Synonyms and Related Terms

polymethine dyes; colorante alla cianina (It.)

Resources and Citations

  • Ralph Mayer, A Dictionary of Art Terms and Techniques, Harper and Row Publishers, New York, 1969 (also 1945 printing)
  • Thomas B. Brill, Light Its Interaction with Art and Antiquities, Plenum Press, New York City, 1980 Comment: p. 167