The Chemistry of Hi-Lighters


For the Chemistry of … , I chose to research the chemistry of hi-lighters. They are so useful in a high school student and possibly, a college student’s life. They help so much with studying and helping to emphasize the importance of something you need to know or need to remember. What we’re going to learn is how they are made and with what. This is chemistry as well so, we’ll learn what happens with what’s going on in it.

Composition of ...

    • Glycol Solvent
    • Water (H2O)
    • Dye
    1. Yellow
    • Pyranine, a pyrene dye
    1. Another compound that can be utilised is triphenylmethane
    2. Triphenylmethane dye can also be mixed with pyrene dye to create the green dye

2. Blue

    • Triphenylmethane
      • Used with a brightening color compound, Anionic Stilbene Derivative

3. Orange

    • Xanthene dye and Coumarin dye

4. Pink

    • Rhodamine dye
      • Can create a purple color when combined with the triphenylmethane

Main Chemicals, Compounds, Components

    • Water (H2O)
    • Glycol Solvent

Background Research

The definition of hi-lighter(highlighter) is a writing utensil that emphasizes sections with a bright, clear color. In 1970, the product took over underlining by storm and the original inventor of the the product is a man named Dr. Frank Honn. His trademark was Sharpie” with his company, Carter’s Ink Company. Also, the felt tip of this object was made by Stabilo-Boss in 1971. In different hi-lighter colors are different types of dyes, such as in the yellow dye, it has pyranine dye with fluorescein. The dyes can also make other colors, in example, yellow can make green when you mix triphenylmethane. In the color blue (Acid Blue 9), the dye would be triphenylmethane and you would combine it with a coloring compound, such as anionic stilbene derivative (makes the color brighter). As well as different colors, there are also different tips in a hi-lighter


About the Author

Kitawna Little-Light is a 16 year-old junior at Billings Senior High School. She enjoys extracurricular activities such as cross-country, basketball, softball, and she is the secretary of the All Nations Leadership Club. In the school classroom, she enjoys spanish, english, and math. What Kitawna does outside of school is enjoy the time she has with her family. She lives in Pryor, MT and is a member of the Crow tribe. What she enjoys from that is the tradition and also, she loves to powwow dance, go parading, play games, attend handgames, and ride horses. Kitawna loves to cook with her aunts and hunt with her uncles. With her grandfather, she enjoys doing the quiet things, for example, playing card games or just sitting around watching tv. Her brothers and her love to do everything together until someone gets sick of it. Kitawna has a great life and she tries to enjoy it to the fullest.