YInMn Blue

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YInMn Blue
YInMn Blue - cropped.jpg
YInMn Blue powdered pigment
About these coordinates     Color coordinates
Hex triplet #2e5090
sRGBB  (rgb) (45.82, 79.92, 143.51)
CMYKH   (c, m, y, k) (68.07, 44.31, 0, 43.72)
HSV       (h, s, v) (219.06°, 68.07%, 56.28%)
Source [1][a]
B: Normalized to [0–255] (byte)
H: Normalized to [0–100] (hundred)
YInMn Blue
YMnO3 P63mmc Wiki Image.png
Crystal structure of YInMn Blue
Formula YIn1−xMnxO3
Crystal system Hexagonal
Crystal symmetry P63cm
Unit cell a = 6.24 Å; c = 12.05 Å
Color Light to dark blue

YInMn Blue (for yttrium, indium, manganese) is an inorganic blue pigment that was accidentally discovered by Professor Mas Subramanian and his then graduate student Andrew E. Smith at Oregon State University in 2009.[2][3]

Discovery and development[edit]

In 2008, Professor Mas Subramanian received a NSF grant to explore novel materials for electronics applications. Under this project, he was particularly interested in synthesizing multiferroics based on manganese oxides. He directed Andrew E. Smith (a graduate student then) to synthesize an oxide solid solution between YInO
(a ferroelectric material) and YMnO
(an antiferromagnetic material) at 1,093 °C (2,000 °F). The resulting compound was not an effective multiferroic; it was instead a vibrant blue material. Due to Prof. Subramanian's extensive experience at DuPont Co., he recognized the compound's potential use as a blue pigment and filed a patent disclosure covering the invention. After publishing their results, Shepherd Color Company contacted Prof. Subramanian for possible collaboration in commercialization efforts. The pigment is noteworthy for its vibrant, near-perfect blue color and unusually high NIR reflectance.[2][1] The color can be adjusted by varying the In/Mn ratio, but the bluest pigment, YIn
, has a color comparable to standard cobalt blue CoAl

The new pigment is being commercialized by the Shepherd Color Company.[4][5] The shade will also be used on AMD's new Radeon Pro WX and Pro SSG professional GPUs for the energy efficiency that stems from its near-infrared reflecting property.[6] In June 2016, Australian company Derivan released YInMn (known as Oregon Blue) as an experimental colour in their artist range (Matisse acrylics).[7] This experimental product was made using the Shepherd licensed pigment.

American art supplies company Crayola replaced its retired Dandelion color with a new color based on the pigment. It held a contest for more pronounceable name ideas, and announced the new color, "Bluetiful", on 14 September 2017.[8][9][10] The new crayon color has been available since late 2017.

Properties and preparation[edit]

YInMn Blue is chemically stable, does not fade, and is non-toxic. Moreover, infrared radiation is strongly reflected, which makes this pigment suitable for energy-saving cool coatings. It can be prepared by heating the oxides of the elements yttrium, indium, and manganese to a temperature of approximately 1,200 °C (2,200 °F).[11]


The pigment is far more durable than alternative blue pigments such as ultramarine or Prussian blue, retaining its vibrant color in oil and water. It is additionally safer than cobalt blue.[12]

See also[edit]


  1. ^ The color coordinates were obtained from Smith et al. 2016 for the optimal blue pigment, which has the composition YIn0.8Mn0.2O3. The CIELab coordinates (L = 34.6, a = 9.6, b = −38.9 in table 1) were converted using an online tool Archived 8 January 2017 at the Wayback Machine.


  1. ^ a b c Smith, Andrew E.; Comstock, Matthew C.; Subramanian, M. A. (October 2016). "Spectral properties of the UV absorbing and near-IR reflecting blue pigment, YIn1-xMnxO3". Dyes and Pigments. 133: 214–221. doi:10.1016/j.dyepig.2016.05.029. 
  2. ^ a b Smith, Andrew E.; Mizoguchi, Hiroshi; Delaney, Kris; Spaldin, Nicola A.; Sleight, Arthur W.; Subramanian, M. A. (2 December 2009). "Mn3+ in Trigonal Bipyramidal Coordination: A New Blue Chromophore". Journal of the American Chemical Society. 131 (47): 17084–17086. doi:10.1021/ja9080666. ISSN 0002-7863. PMID 19899792. 
  3. ^ Rosenberg, Gabriel (16 July 2016). "A Chemist Accidentally Creates A New Blue. Then What?". NPR. Archived from the original on 23 May 2017. 
  4. ^ "The Story of YInMn Blue". Oregon State University. Retrieved 28 May 2018. 
  5. ^ "Licensing agreement reached on brilliant new blue pigment discovered by happy accident". Oregon State University. Archived from the original on 3 July 2016. Retrieved 2 July 2016. 
  6. ^ "Radeon Pro WX Series and YInMn Blue". YouTube. AMD. 15 August 2016. Archived from the original on 11 June 2017. Retrieved 22 August 2016. 
  7. ^ "Product Profile: Yin Min Blue". YouTube. Derivan. 12 July 2016. Archived from the original on 5 November 2017. 
  8. ^ Bowerman, Mary (5 May 2017). "Crayola's newest crayon color is a shade of blue that was just discovered". USA Today. Archived from the original on 6 May 2017. Retrieved 5 May 2017. 
  9. ^ Waugh, Rob (16 May 2017). "Chemist finds new shade of blue by mistake (and Crayola is now making a crayon of it)". Metro. Archived from the original on 17 May 2017. 
  10. ^ "Crayola names new blue crayon 'Bluetiful' after retiring yellow 'Dandelion'". ABC News. 14 September 2017. Archived from the original on 14 September 2017. 
  11. ^ "YInMn blue". ColourLex. Archived from the original on 5 November 2011. 
  12. ^ Schonbrun, Zach (18 April 2018). "The Quest for the Next Billion-Dollar Color". Bloomberg. Retrieved 20 April 2018.