Differences in Dyes

All CD-R discs incorporate a photosensitive dye layer where your data is stored--it's what gets "burned" when you write to the disc. This layer is where your data or music is stored in the form of "pits" which are oblong areas that are discolored by the writer. These pits are read by the player and ultimately transformed into the "1s" and "0s" that make up your digital information (music and data look the same to the reader). The accuracy of the stored information is directly affected by how this dye reacts. That's why the dye is so important.
Phthalocyanine Mitsui's Patented Phthalocyanine (tha-lo-cy-a-neen) dye has several advantages over others:
  • More responsive to the writing laser so cleaner, better defined pits are created.
  • Longest lifetime of any photosensitive dye
  • More transparent, contributing to Mitsui's high reflectivity

What does this mean for you? Cleaner pits means fewer errors. Higher reflectivity means better compatibility among readers. Longer life......300 years is, for all intents and purposes, forever. (estimated lifetime is 300 years for our gold CD-R and 100 years for our silver)

Cyanine In general, cyanine dye is the standard; the Orange Book was written based on the original cyanine dye discs from Taiyo Yuden. Most CD-Recorders are optimized for cyanine dye. Cyanine discs are compatible with a wide range of laser powers.
Black/Cyanine Black CD-Rs use cyanine dye.
Azo The NCC subsidiary of Mitsubishi developed a metallized azo, or metal chelate, dye that is a dark blue color. Use of a silver reflective layer provides an attractive background for a label and combines with the dye to produce an unmistakable blue color when viewed from the readout surface. Azo CD-R discs are also marketed by Verbatim.

Top Surface:

Gold Diamond Coat

The Gold Diamond Coat surface is a Mitsui exclusive. This surface is thermal printable. The Diamond Coat provides an extra protective coating to keep your archival information safe for decades. The gold reflective layer increases the shelf life of disc for archiving purposes exponentially. A Mitsui Silver CD-R has a shelf life of 100 years, compared to Mitsui Gold’s 300 year expected life. Why? The gold layer is less susceptible to oxidation.

Silver surface CD-Rs are now your standard surface. This surface is basically a fine lacquer coating placed over the reflective layer of the disc, which is in-turn placed over the dye layer of the disc. This surface is the true surface of your basic “bulk cdr”, as they were intended to have something printed to them before the end-user gets the disc. The good news about this surface is it very versatile, able to work with silk screen printers and thermal transfer printers like the Rimage Prism and Primera Inscripta. No need for paying for any premium thermal surface, as its not required. The negative news is the lacquer coating on top is very thin, so there is very little protecting your data from fingerprints and scratches. It can also have problems in vinyl sleeves that are not frosted, as in extreme conditions the smooth disc surface can bond with the smooth sleeve interior.
Silver Diamond Coat Mitsui's Diamond Coat is the hardest protective coating in the industry. The best thermal printable surface available. (Mitsui works with the printer manufacturers to optimize performance) Provides an optimum surface for high-resolution printing and improved adhesion.
Gold Satin Some manufactures still have markets that ask for gold surface CD-R, yet they no longer have the means to produce them. The switch to silver surface CD-R has made production less expensive, and the silver reflective layer has a higher reflectivity, resulting in better readability as compared to gold. How do they address this? The simply screen print a gold surface to the CD-R. None of the inherent qualities of gold reflective layer CD-R translate to the gold “Satin” product. Its just gold on top.