Editor: Fabian Mohr

Published Year: 2009

Publisher: WILEY-VCH Verlag GmbH & Co. KGaA,Weinheim

ISBN: 978-3-527-32086-8

Size: 3.5 MB (rar)

Page: 426 Pages

For few elements the chemistry has recently undergone such an explosive growth as for gold. This is the more surprising since the chemistry of this element had been dormant during most of the 19th and 20th century when the chemistry of most other elements developed rapidly or at least with a steady pace. In the last three decades, however, the number of reports on significant advances in gold chemistry is increasing at such a rate that scientists interested in this field are already in a need of periodical reviews which critically summarize and highlight the most important contributions. Several publishers have reacted to this situation and a series of overviews dedicated to special subjects, and even special issues of periodicals and books with a more general scope have appeared at shorter and shorter intervals. Meanwhile a growing share of these reviews is dedicated to specific applications of the many new findings in gold chemistry, which naturally have been the most powerful incentives for the worldwide research activities. At least in number, these application-oriented investigations have overruled already the curiosity-driven fundamental scientific studies. The symbiotic and synergistic nature of ‘‘pure and applied gold chemistry’’ turned out to be extremely fruitful and successful. The discovery of the unexpected activity of particulate gold in heterogeneous catalysis – observed e. g. in important reactions like the low-temperature oxidation of carbon monoxide or in the activation of olefins – was soon followed by work which provided clear evidence for a similar efficacy of gold salts in homogeneous catalysis. 

There is now a plethora of new protocols in organic synthesis with key steps based on a wide range of highly active and selective gold catalysts, which still keeps growing rapidly. Another research area where gold and its compounds have widened the scope very considerably is the chemistry of complexes with specific photophysical properties. From early observations it had been known that various mono- and polynuclear gold complexes, aggregates and clusters are often strongly luminescent. Physicochemical scrutiny has since provided a much better understanding of the underlying effects and thus this chemistry could be developed into a promising source of components for LEDs, OLEDs and other devices. Even the transition from photonic towards electrogenerated chemiluminescence has also recently been accomplished. In XIII addition, this work has been closely related to research activities dedicated to the development on gold chemistry-based meso-phases (liquid crystals) and NLO materials, where this metal can offer many advantages over established systems. 

Simple gold flakes and more sophisticated gold preparations have played a role in pharmacy and medicine for millennia, and some well-defined complexes have much later indeed been established as potent drugs for the treatment of rheumatoid and arthritic deceases. Following the observations in platinum chemistry, in more recent years there have been positive results also regarding the usage of gold complexes for the treatment of cancer and other deseases, and pertinent investigations are consequently still or again an area of active research. The most rapid growth of gold chemistry is currently observed in nanoparticle technology. Gold nanoparticles in all shapes and sizes are employed in many areas, as diverse as electrochemistry and electronics, photophysics, biochemistry, biology, and medicine. Moreover, self-assembly of monolayers of gold compounds on surfaces has provided surface scientists with an ideal playground for all sorts of investigations at interfaces.

The present volume reflects most of these active areas of research in articles written by some of the leading scientist who themselves have been pioneers in, or contributed to their particular fields of interest. It is very fortunate that articles have also been included which give status reports on the underlying fields of current fundamental research. From these it can be easily extracted that theoretical chemistry has meanwhile contributed enormously to a better understanding of the special effects that are characteristic of gold chemistry. It is also becoming obvious that in coordination chemistry the interest has slowly shifted from standard phosphorus and sulfur ligands to components with carbon and nitrogen donor centers, viz. carbenes, arenes and N-heterocycles, respectively. After a long period during which gold(I) complexes were in the focus of research, renewed attention has also recently been paid to compounds of gold in its higher oxidation states, mainly owing to advantages in catalytic activity and to novel photophysical effects. This collection will therefore be a very valuable source of information and inspiration for all those who proudly call themselves gold chemists already, but also will attract others to this still adolescent division of chemistry.


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