Crystal chemistry of the gold (I) trimer, Au3(NC5H4)3: Formation of hourglass figures and self-association through aurophilic attraction

Akari Hayashi, Marilyn M. Olmstead, Saeed Attar, Alan L. Balch

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74 Citations (Scopus)


X-ray crystallography reveals that individual molecules of Au3(NC5H4)3 self-associate through aurophilic interactions into two distinct structural motifs that involve both extended chains of molecules connected by pairwise Au···Au contacts and individual Au···Au contacts and discrete dimers linked by pairwise Au···Au contacts. The colorless or pale yellow crystals are remarkable for the formation of a distinct hourglass shape within the crystals that develops after months of standing in the atmosphere or after immersion in 4 M hydrochloric acid for a few days. The hourglass figures appear to result from the deposition of gold and are unusual in being formed by a chemical reaction within a crystal rather than as a result of dying the crystal during growth.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)5791-5795
Number of pages5
JournalJournal of the American Chemical Society
Issue number20
Publication statusPublished - May 22 2002
Externally publishedYes

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Catalysis
  • Chemistry(all)
  • Biochemistry
  • Colloid and Surface Chemistry


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