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goldZum Golde drängt, am Golde hängt doch alles.
For gold contend, On gold depend All things.

J. W. Goethe, Faust I

The element gold has many personalities, of which the image of a noble but soft, yellow metal would first across one's mind. The recently discovered nanoparticles and nanowires containing gold are a natural extension of this aspect, as are the uses of gold in electronics and decoration. Thought to be noble, gold actually has a rich chemistry. Fascinating in its complexity for academic chemists, this chemistry has potential applications in materials science, medicine and, recently, in both heterogeneous and homogeneous catalysis. Some fresh promises are related to the optical properties of certain gold compounds or to the possibility of forming new nanostructures based on gold. The unique properties of gold are strongly influenced by relativistic effects.

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Angew. Chem. 2004, 116, 4512–4557; Angew. Chem. Int. Ed. 2004, 43, 4412–4456

[2] A. S. K. Hashmi, The Catalysis Gold Rush: New Claims
Angew. Chem. 2005, 117, 7150; Angew. Chem. Int. Ed. 2005, 44, 6990

[3] G. Schmid, B. Corain, Nanoparticulated Gold: Syntheses, Structures, Electronics, and Reactivities
Eur. J. Inorg. Chem. 2003, 3081