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I keep reading that gold does not react with oxygen, but I also see information about gold Oxides (ie: aurous oxide, Au2O and auric oxide, Au2O3)

Knowing that there is a way of getting gold oxide using multiple steps and additional chemicals (ie. decomposing aurous chloride), is there a way of getting gold oxide without any intermediate steps? Can you produce gold oxide if you have a closed system with gold and oxygen and the ability to control the amount of energy in the system?

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    $\begingroup$ No, it's not possible, why ask when you already heard that? $\endgroup$
    – Mithoron
    Aug 20, 2022 at 23:29
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    $\begingroup$ @Mithoron if this is the correct answer please post it so I can accept it. $\endgroup$
    – Tolure
    Aug 20, 2022 at 23:36
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    $\begingroup$ Getting back to the post. With the downvotes this post is receiving and what I thought was a simple question, can I assume that even though chemists are not posting an answer the correct answer is that "Yes the coloquial statement that pure gold does not react with air is true regardless of the energy in the environment." $\endgroup$
    – Tolure
    Aug 21, 2022 at 0:15
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    $\begingroup$ @Tolure See doi.org/10.1038/179212a0: gold does react with pure oxygen at elevated temperatures (~900 °C), albeit very slowly. And please refine whether you are asking about oxygen or air since the answers will be vastly different. $\endgroup$
    – andselisk
    Aug 21, 2022 at 0:24
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    $\begingroup$ I bet I can implant oxygen ions and synthesize it, but I don’t think you mean that quite. $\endgroup$
    – Jon Custer
    Aug 21, 2022 at 1:25

1 Answer 1

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Actually, yes — if you cheat a little by using atomic oxygen. Ono and Cuenya[1] report that combining gold nanoparticles with atomic oxygen at 150 K results in gold oxide formation, and the oxidized nanoparticles release the oxygen as $\ce{O2}$ upon heating. The authors further note that the nano-oxide is more stable on a silica support than on a titania support, suggesting a catalytic effect of the latter material.

This finding is relevant to electrochemical oxidation of water on gold anodes, where the electrode is oxidized by the oxygen atoms from water molecules prior to evolving $\ce{O2}$ [2].

References

  1. Luis K. Ono and Beatriz Roldan Cuenya (2008). "Formation and Thermal Stability of Au2O3 on Gold Nanoparticles:  Size and Support Effects". J. Phys. Chem. C, 112, 12, 4676–4686. https://doi.org/10.1021/jp711277u

  2. Oscar Diaz-Morales, Federico Calle-Vallejo, Casper de Muncka and Marc T. M. Koper (2013). "Electrochemical water splitting by gold: evidence for an oxide decomposition mechanism". Chem. Sci., 4, 2334-2343. https://doi.org/10.1039/C3SC50301A

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    $\begingroup$ Huh, does atomic count? Then ozone also would, I guess? BTW how are they making it? $\endgroup$
    – Mithoron
    Aug 21, 2022 at 13:12
  • $\begingroup$ @mithoron the experimental section refers to O2 plasma, so tge atomic oxygen appears to have cone from energizing O2 to make the plasma. Energy input would be acceptable since many overall spontaneous reactions need such input (e.g. heating) to be observed. $\endgroup$ Aug 21, 2022 at 14:05

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