stilbene dyes


(E)-Stilbene, is a diarylethene, that is a hydrocarbon consisiting of an trans ethene double bond substituted with an phenyl group on both carbon atoms of the double bond. The name stilbene was derived from the Greek word stilbos, which means shining


Stilbene exists as two possible isomers. The first is trans-1,2-diphenylethylene, called (E)-stilbene or trans-stilbene. The second is cis-1,2-diphenylethylene, called (Z)-stilbene or cis-stilbene, and is sterically hindered and less stable because the steric interactions force the aromatic rings out-of-plane and prevent conjugation. (Z)-Stilbene has a melting point of 5-6 °C, while (E)-stilbene melts around 125 °C, illustrating the two compounds are quite different in their physical properties.



  • Stilbene will typically have the chemistry of an conjugated alkene, that is a diarylethene.
  • Trans- and cis-stilbene can interconvert under the influence of light.

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