Since its development over 150 years ago, silver-halide imaging has retained a central role in the imaging world, despite advances in electronic imaging over the last five to 10 years. At present the high cost of electronic cameras and printing systems prohibits their widespread general use. Nevertheless digital electronic features are now being incorporated into silver-halide-based imaging systems. Development of new films that incorporate magnetic-storage capability into conventional silver-halide film, as well as smaller cameras and tighter winding radii, put more stringent requirements on the physical performance of the final silver-halide-based product.
For many years, advances in silver-halide imaging focused on improved photographic emulsions, providing improvements in resolution, color balance, and latitude. Advances in the photographic emulsions resulted from particle shape and morphology control of the silver-halide crystal, as well as new sensitizing dyes, couplers, and other image-modifying addenda that provided increases in speed and quality. Literature on the “science of photography” and “photographic materials and processes” emphasizes silver-halide chemistry and the function of sensitizing dyes and couplers in color photography as they impact film latitude, resolution, color balance, etc., with minor mention of the support materials and properties. Literature on support characteristics and physical properties is limited.