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In terms of producing gold nano flakes, Guo et al. [1] added aniline to the solution of chloroauric acid in ethylene glycol at 95 °C. However, I couldn't figure out the step by step chemical reaction in it. Can anyone please explain me the reaction procedure or guide me to the relevant source?

References

  1. Guo, Z.; Zhang, Y.; DuanMu, Y.; Xu, L.; Xie, S.; Gu, N. Facile Synthesis of Micrometer-Sized Gold Nanoplates through an Aniline-Assisted Route in Ethylene Glycol Solution. Colloids and Surfaces A: Physicochemical and Engineering Aspects 2006, 278 (1), 33–38. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.colsurfa.2005.11.075.
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I believe that ethylene glycol in this reaction is used as a solvent and Aniline is used as a reducing agent. Ethylene glycol solution heated with chloroauric acid produces $Au^{3+}$ ions (first 20 min) which is then reduced to $Au^{0}$ (3hr reaction) in the presence of aniline. Because there is no stirring during those 3 hrs (so less agitation of the reaction mixture)there is less formation of gold nanoparticle and more gold nano flakes are formed.

May be this paper will help you, it has a similar mechanism

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