Directed Synthesis of Rocksalt AuCl Crystals

We report the first-time experimental realization of rocksalt AuCl crystals. Our approach involves Au(III) complexing and reduction to Au(I) using an amine-terminated surfactant in a low dielectric permittivity solvent. The low charge screening in nonpolar solvents promotes crystallization of rocksalt AuCl, in which the bonding is predominantly ionic, in preference over tetragonal AuCl. The rocksalt AuCl crystals obtained here will facilitate studies to unveil the nexus between electronic structure and crystal structure in AuCl polymorphs, and provide insights on these relationships in other polymorphic crystal systems. Our approach provides a new means for crystallizing selective polymorphs of inorganic compounds by subtly influencing the cation electronic structure by varying the dielectric permittivity of the synthesis medium. In addition, the AuCl crystals can serve as inexpensive Au(I) precursors for forming a variety of Au nanostructures.