Fluorescein is a synthetic organic compound available as a dark orange/red powder soluble in water and alcohol. It is widely used as a fluorescent tracer for many applications.
Fluorescein is a fluorophore commonly used in microscopy, in a type of dye laser as the gain medium, in forensics and serology to detect latent blood stains, and in dye tracing. Fluorescein has an absorption maximum at 494 nm and emission maximum of 521 nm (in water). The major derivatives are fluorescein isothiocyanate (FITC) and, in oligonucleotide synthesis, 6-FAM phosphoramidite.
Fluorescein also has an isosbestic point (equal absorption for all pH values) at 460 nm. Fluorescein is also known as a color additive (D&C Yellow no. 7). The disodium salt form of fluorescein is known as uranine or D&C Yellow no. 8.
The color of its aqueous solution varies from green to orange as a function of the way it is observed: by reflection or by transmission, as it can be noticed in bubble levels in which fluorescein is added as a colorant to the alcohol filling the tube to increase the visibility of the air bubble and the precision of the instrument.