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

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


Discovery and developmentEdit

Andrew E. Smith, a graduate student under Professor Mas Subramanian, was researching electrical properties of manganese oxides that were mixed with other precursors and heated to 1,093 °C (2,000 °F). It 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, YIn0.8Mn0.2O3, has a color comparable to standard cobalt blue CoAl2O4 pigments.[1]

The new pigment is being commercialized by the Shepherd Color Company in 2017.[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 the YIn Mn (known as Oregon Blue) as an experimental colour in their artist range (Matisse acrylics).[7] This experimental product was made using the Shepard licensed pigment.

Properties and preparationEdit

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).[8]


The pigment is very durable, retaining its vibrant color in oil and water.

Crayola is planning to replace its retired Dandelion color with a new color using YInMn Blue. It is holding a contest for more pronounceable name ideas, and will announce the new color in early September 2017.[9][10]

See alsoEdit


  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.


  1. ^ a b c Smith, Andrew E.; Comstock, Matthew C.; Subramanian, M. A. (2016-10-01). "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. (2009-12-02). "Mn3+ in Trigonal Bipyramidal Coordination: A New Blue Chromophore". Journal of the American Chemical Society. 131 (47): 17084–17086. ISSN 0002-7863. PMID 19899792. doi:10.1021/ja9080666. 
  3. ^ A Chemist Accidentally Creates A New Blue. Then What? July 16, 2016 Gabriel Rosenberg
  4. ^ "New, Vibrant Blue Pigment Comes to Market - artnet News". 2016-06-20. Retrieved 2016-06-29. 
  5. ^ "Licensing agreement reached on brilliant new blue pigment discovered by happy accident | News and Research Communications | Oregon State University". Retrieved 2016-07-02. 
  6. ^ "Radeon Pro WX Series and YInMn Blue". YouTube. AMD. 15 August 2016. Retrieved 22 August 2016. 
  7. ^ "Product Profile: Yin Min Blue". YouTube. 
  8. ^ YInMn blue at ColourLex
  9. ^ "Crayola's newest crayon color is a shade of blue that was just discovered". USA TODAY. Retrieved 2017-05-05. 
  10. ^ "Chemist finds new shade of blue by mistake (and Crayola is now making a crayon of it)". Metro. 16 May 2017.