Pigments are colored substances that are used to impart color to materials such as paint, ink, plastics, and textiles. They can be organic or inorganic compounds that absorb certain wavelengths of light and reflect others, giving the appearance of a particular color.
Inorganic pigments are typically derived from minerals, such as iron oxide for red, yellow, and brown, and titanium dioxide for white. Organic pigments are made from carbon-based molecules and can range from natural pigments like chlorophyll to synthetic pigments like phthalocyanine blue.
Pigments are often classified by their chemical composition and can be grouped into categories such as azo pigments, phthalocyanine pigments, and quinacridone pigments. The choice of pigment will affect the color, opacity, and durability of the material being colored.
In addition to their use in traditional applications like painting and printing, pigments also have a variety of industrial applications, such as coloring plastics, coatings, and ceramics. Pigments are also used in cosmetics, food, and pharmaceuticals, where their safety and stability are of utmost importance.