Gold(I) chloride

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Gold(I) chloride
IUPAC name
Gold(I) chloride
Other names
Aurous chloride
3D model (JSmol)
ECHA InfoCard 100.030.583 OOjs UI icon edit-ltr-progressive.svg
PubChem CID
  • InChI=1S/Au.ClH/h;1H/q+1;/p-1 Yes check.svgY
  • InChI=1/Au.ClH/h;1H/q+1;/p-1
  • [Au]Cl
Molar mass 232.423 g/mol
Appearanceyellow solid
Density 7.6 g/cm3 [1]
Melting point 170 °C (338 °F; 443 K)
Boiling point 298 °C (568 °F; 571 K) (decomposes)
very slightly soluble
Solubility soluble in HCl, HBr organic solvents
67.0·10−6 cm3/mol
Tetragonal, tI16
I41/amd, No. 141
NFPA 704 (fire diamond)
Safety data sheet (SDS) MSDS
Except where otherwise noted, data are given for materials in their standard state (at 25 °C [77 °F], 100 kPa).
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Gold(I) chloride is a compound of gold and chlorine with the chemical formula AuCl.



Gold(I) chloride is prepared by thermal decomposition of gold(III) chloride.


Although there is a region of stability at higher temperatures at the appropriate chlorine vapor pressures, the compound is metastable at ambient conditions. When heated with water, the compound disporpotionates to metallic gold and gold(III) chloride in an autoredox reaction:

3 AuCl → 2 Au + AuCl3

At still higher temperatures, around 500 °C, all gold chlorides convert to gold. This conversion is key to the Miller process, which is widely used for the purification of gold. [2]

Reaction with potassium bromide yields potassium auric bromide and potassium chloride with separation of metallic gold:

3 AuCl + 4 KBr → KAuBr4 + 2 Au + 3 KCl


Gold(I) chloride may irritate the skin and eyes, damage kidney function, and reduce white blood cell counts.

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  1. Pradyot Patnaik. Handbook of Inorganic Chemicals. McGraw-Hill, 2002, ISBN   0-07-049439-8
  2. Renner, Hermann; Schlamp, Günther; Hollmann, Dieter; Lüschow, Hans Martin; Tews, Peter; Rothaut, Josef; Dermann, Klaus; Knödler, Alfons; Hecht, Christian; Schlott, Martin; Drieselmann, Ralf; Peter, Catrin; Schiele, Rainer (2000). "Gold, Gold Alloys, and Gold Compounds". Ullmann's Encyclopedia of Industrial Chemistry. doi:10.1002/14356007.a12_499. ISBN   3527306730.