The durability of an organic color and its resistance against external chemical agents and exposure to light can be significantly enhanced by hybridizing the natural dye with a mineral. In search for stable natural pigments, the present work focuses on the association of indigo blue with several zeolitic matrices (LTA zeolite, mordenite, MFI zeolite). The manufacturing of the hybrid pigment is tested under varying oxidizing conditions, using Raman and ultraviolet–visible (UV-Vis) spectrometric techniques. Blending indigo with MFI is shown to yield the most stable composite in all of our artificial indigo pigments. In the absence of defects and substituted cations such as aluminum in the framework of the MFI zeolite matrix, we show that matching the pore size with the dimensions of the guest indigo molecule is the key factor. The evidence for the high color stability of indigo@MFI opens a new path for modeling the stability of indigo in various alumino-silicate substrates such as in the historical Maya Blue pigment.
Catherine Dejoie, Pauline Martinetto, Eric Dooryhée, Elsa Van Elslande, Sylvie Blanc, Patrice Bordat, Ross Brown, Florence Porcher, and Michel Anne, "Association of Indigo with Zeolites for Improved Color Stabilization," Appl. Spectrosc. 64, 1131-1138 (2010)