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why is potassium dichromate required in silver stain

Potassium dichromate is required in silver stain to increase the contrast of the stain by oxidizing the silver particles formed during the staining process. This oxidation reaction creates a more intense and defined stain, making it easier to visualize and differentiate structures under a microscope. Additionally, potassium dichromate acts as a mordant, helping to bind the silver particles to the tissue or material being stained. This prevents the silver particles from washing away during subsequent steps in the staining process.