The di(thiourea)gold(I) complex [Au{S=C(NH2)2}2][SO3Me] as a precursor for the convenient preparation of gold nanoparticles

Alexander Kossmann, Rayko Ehnert, Andrea Preuß, Natalia Rüffer, Marcus Korb, Steffen Schulze, Christoph Tegenkamp, Frank Köster, Heinrich Lang

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The synthesis of [Au{S=C(NH2)2}2][SO3Me] (1) (a) by the anodic oxidation of gold metal in an anolyte of thiourea and methansulfonic acid and (b) by the reaction of Au(OH)3 with an aqueous solution of methanesulfonic acid in the presence of thiourea is reported. The structure of 1 in the solid state has been determined by single-crystal X-ray diffraction showing a linear S-Au-S unit with the thiourea ligands in a leaflet structure folded by 113.2(3)°. The cation of complex 1 is a dimer, based on short S · · · C interactions between two adjacent mononuclear cations. The thermal decomposition behavior of 1 was studied by TG and TG-MS confirming that it decomposes under inert gas or oxygen atmosphere in four steps in the temperature range of 200-650°C. Initial decomposition starts with the release and fragmentation of one of the thiourea ligands, followed by the anion degradation. Powder X-ray diffraction studies specified the formation of gold metal. Based on this observation, complex 1 was used as precursor for the formation of gold nanoparticles (Au NPs) in 1-hexadecylamine (c = 4.0 mol L-1) at T = 330°C without any addition of reducing agents. TEM, electron diffraction, and UV/Vis spectroscopy studies were carried out. Au NPs of size 15 ± 4 nm were formed, showing the characteristic surface plasmon resonance at 528 nm.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)239-249
Number of pages11
JournalZeitschrift fur Naturforschung - Section B Journal of Chemical Sciences
Issue number3
Publication statusPublished - Mar 2020


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