Gold has been a great agent of human interest and its grandeur lies in its spark. From the ancient pharaohs of Egypt who had their coffins made out of pure gold to their architects who placed huge gold caps on the pyramids of Giza, Gold has always fascinated mankind. People have been using Gold as colloidal solutions for many years and have delved deeper in its intricacies and chemical formations. A period 6 element Gold is a soft metal and chemically inert which is one of its most important features. The s-orbital of Gold has only one electron thus giving it this property. In the late 19th century Gold nano-particles were made possible and since then they have used as coats to various molecules and polymers.

Production

The morphological state of Gold nano-particles is spherical and is made by the reduction of Chloroauric Acid (HAuCl4 ), after dissolving with the acid the product is swiftly mixed with a reducing agent. It is in this process that Au3+   ions get reduced to inert gold particles. Soon as the production continues the solution gets supersaturated and the precipitate is collected. The collection is called Gold Nano-particle and is used often in this state.  

Uses

  • Gold nano-particles have a lots of uses and recently scientists at Purdue university have used it to successfully detect breast cancer. Another group in the previous half-decade has coated Gold nanoparticles with DNA and injected in plants to improve plant plastids.
  • Gold particles have also been used as conductors in printable inks and electronic chips. As the size of our electronics shrink, gold particles are coming in handy. Also, Gold particles when made to contact with IR light emit high heat (wavelength- 700 to 800nm) and are being used to eradicate tumors in the human body.
  • Gold particles are quite dense and have been used as probes for transmission electron microscopy.
  • Gold nano particles have recently also found a lot of application in the cosmetic industry to get deeper into the skin to get rid of dead skin cells and improve complexion.
  • Gold nano particles have also been used as catalysts in various chemical reactions as they can be used for selective oxidation.

Gold now is no longer only meant to ornate jewelries but has more important and instrumental roles to play, it’s old connotation of wealth might not have changed till date. Even to this day people influence powers with gold, country’s economy depends on Gold, but now with the recent developments and inventions, Gold is much more than just wealth and power. It is a sign of human progress, and in the days to come, much more is to be achieved.

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