Disazo (Bishydrazone) pigments based on acetoacetanilides

Robert Christie*, Adrian Abel

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Disazoacetoacetanilide pigments, more commonly known as diarylide yellows, are the most important group of yellow classical organic pigments. They were commercialized in the early 20th century many years after the introduction of the structurally related monazoacetoacetanilides (Hansa yellows). The molecules adopt the bis-ketohydrazone tautomeric form. X-ray single crystal structure investigations have provided an insight into the influence of the molecular geometry and crystal packing arrangements in the solid state on the properties of the pigments in application. The synthesis of diarylide pigments is relatively straightforward, the conditions essentially following those used for the corresponding monoazo pigments, so that the products are economically priced. In the case of these disazo pigments, suitable aromatic amines (1 mol) are bis-diazotized and the resulting bis-diazonium salts reacted with acetoacetanilide coupling components (2 mol), the two azo coupling reactions occurring at the same time. They are by far the dominant group of yellow pigments used in printing inks, well-suited for most standard process yellow inks. They were formerly important in the coloration of plastics but are no longer recommended for polymers processed above 200 °C, under which conditions toxic decomposition products are formed. Diarylide yellow pigments are characterized by high color strength, good to excellent solvent fastness, and good chemical stability, although they generally show inferior lightfastness.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)791-805
Number of pages15
JournalPhysical Sciences Reviews
Issue number12
Early online date30 Jun 2021
Publication statusPublished - Dec 2021


  • disazo pigments, disazoacetoacetanilide pigments, bishydrazone pigments, diarylide pigments, diarylide yellows, Hansa yellows, acetoacetanilides

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Chemistry(all)
  • Materials Science(all)
  • Physics and Astronomy(all)


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