Azo compound
Azo compounds are compounds
Chemical compound
A chemical compound is a pure chemical substance consisting of two or more different chemical elements that can be separated into simpler substances by chemical reactions. Chemical compounds have a unique and defined chemical structure; they consist of a fixed ratio of atoms that are held together...

 bearing the functional group
Functional group
In organic chemistry, functional groups are specific groups of atoms within molecules that are responsible for the characteristic chemical reactions of those molecules. The same functional group will undergo the same or similar chemical reaction regardless of the size of the molecule it is a part of...

 R-N=N-R', in which R and R' can be either aryl
In the context of organic molecules, aryl refers to any functional group or substituent derived from an aromatic ring, be it phenyl, naphthyl, thienyl, indolyl, etc....

 or alkyl. IUPAC defines azo compounds as: "Derivatives of diazene
Diazene, also called diimine or diimide, is a compound having the formula 2. It exists as two geometric isomers, E and Z. Diazene is also the parent member of the entire class of azo compounds with the formula 2, where R is an organyl group...

 (diimide), HN=NH, wherein both hydrogens are substituted by hydrocarbyl groups, e.g. PhN=NPh azobenzene
Azobenzene is a chemical compound composed of two phenyl rings linked by a N=N double bond. It is the best known example of an azo compound. The term 'azobenzene' or simply 'azo' is often used to refer to a wide class of molecules that share the core azobenzene structure, with different chemical...

 or diphenyldiazene." The more stable derivatives contain two aryl groups. The N=N group is called an azo group. The name azo comes from azote, the French name for nitrogen
Nitrogen is a chemical element that has the symbol N, atomic number of 7 and atomic mass 14.00674 u. Elemental nitrogen is a colorless, odorless, tasteless, and mostly inert diatomic gas at standard conditions, constituting 78.08% by volume of Earth's atmosphere...

 that is derived from the Greek a (not) + zoe (to live).
As a consequence of п-delocalization, aryl azo compounds have vivid colors, especially reds, oranges, and yellows.