Date of Award


Degree Type


Degree Name

Honors Thesis



First Advisor

Michael Samide

Second Advisor

Stacy O'Reilly


Reflectance spectroscopy was used to study the cyanotype printing process. Originally this process was used to make photocopies of building designs, but today it is used for art. The cyanotype process is a photo catalyzed oxidation-reduction reaction. This study altered the concentrations and reagents involved in the printing process, and it included the use of ammonium ferricyanide and ammonium iron(III) oxalate along with the traditional potassium ferricyanide and ammonium iron(III) citrate. The impact of these changes on the rate of formation of Prussian blue was observed and quantified. Rate laws and general trends were determined for the reagents involved. Qualitative analysis of the various images was performed through the use of a survey. Participants were asked to rank cyanotypes, made from various chemical combinations, on the qualities of color, consistency, clarity, artistic appeal, and texture. This work provided a better understanding of the chemistry involved in the Cyanotype process, which will hopefully lead to better art production and conservation.