Dye-based Inks

Dyes are water soluble (dissolves in water) and are know for easily obtaining saturated, brilliant colors due to its small molecule size, 1.5-4 nanometers (1 nanometer=1/1000 of a micrometer, 1 micrometer=1/1000 of a millimeter).  This small particle size refracts or scatters very little light providing a large color gamut as well as allowing the dye to "seep" into most media.  This "seeping" enables dye based inks to be used on media without the inkjet receptor top coat (a coating applied to media by the manufacturer before reaching the customer) necessary for pigmented ink adhesion. 

Unfortunately, the same characteristic that provides for these advantages is also the source of its poor lightfastness and instability in many gas environments.  A ph neutral media is recommended for use with dye based inks because of their tendency to oxidize in an unbalance ph environment, directly affecting dye giclee ink's longevity.  Dyes also have poor water and humidity fastness due to their water soluble nature.