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Issue 9, 2008
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The chemistry of gold as an anion

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Due to relativistic and classical shell structure effects, the 6s orbital of gold is significantly contracted and energetically stabilized. This is reflected by a strikingly high electron affinity, and a distinct tendency to adopt negatively polarized valence states. This tutorial review focuses on the chemistry of gold as an anion, displaying the integral ionic charge number of 1−. Two synthetic approaches to compounds containing monoatomic gold anions have become available: (1) reacting elemental gold with molten caesium and an oxide, e.g.Cs2O; (2) metathesis reactions involving Au dissolved in liquid ammonia. Both procedures have proven to be rather versatile. Aurides synthesized along these routes are surveyed, in particular with respect to their structures and bonding properties.

Graphical abstract: The chemistry of gold as an anion

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Article information

11 Mar 2008
First published
04 Jul 2008

Chem. Soc. Rev., 2008,37, 1826-1835
Article type
Tutorial Review

The chemistry of gold as an anion

M. Jansen, Chem. Soc. Rev., 2008, 37, 1826
DOI: 10.1039/B708844M

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