Forum for Science, Industry and Business

Sponsored by:     3M 
Search our Site:

 

All Smoothed Out

14.01.2010
Hydroxyl radicals remove nanoscopic irregularities on polished gold surfaces

The precious metal gold is the material of choice for many technical applications because it does not corrode – and because it also has interesting electrical, magnetic, and optical properties.

Gold is thus one of the most important metals in the electronics industry, miniaturized optical components, and electrochemical processes. In these applications, it is extremely important that the surface of the gold be completely clean and smooth. However, conventional processes not only “polish” away the undesirable irregularities, but also attack the gold surface.

Fritz Scholz and a team from the Universities of Greifswald (Germany) and Warsaw (Poland) have now discovered a technique that can differentiate between the two. As the scientists report in the journal Angewandte Chemie, hydroxyl radicals (OH radicals) rapidly remove all tiny protrusions on mechanically polished gold surfaces, leaving behind an extremely smooth surface.

The researchers treated gold surfaces with Fenton's reagent, which is a mixture of hydrogen peroxide and iron(II) salts that releases OH radicals. It is also used to degrade organic impurities in the purification of waste water. “Actually, it was not expected that the radicals would attack a polished pure gold surface,” says Scholz, “because gold is notoriously difficult to oxidize.” The experiments demonstrated that the hydroxyl radicals oxidize gold very well, though measurable dissolution continues only as long as there are still bumps on the gold surface. Though these results seem contradictory at first glance, the researchers explain that the reaction of the radicals with the highly ordered gold atoms of the completely smooth surface produces a stable layer of gold oxide, which can be reduced back to elemental gold without a significant loss of material. In the protrusions, however, the gold atoms are less ordered and very reactive. During the oxidation, they detach themselves from the atomic structure.

“Because the protrusions are selectively removed, our method is very interesting for polishing gold surfaces for industrial applications,” says Scholz. The process may also find a use in medical technology: gold is used to replace teeth, in tissues for reconstructive surgery, and in electrode implants, such as those used for implanted hearing aids. These release tiny amounts of gold, which enters into the surrounding tissue. This apparently occurs because of an immune reaction that results in the formation of OH radicals or similar species. Pre-treatment of gold implants with Fenton's reagent could inhibit this release of gold into the body.

Author: Fritz Scholz, Universität Greifswald (Germany), http://www.chemie.uni-greifswald.de/~analytik/

Title: Hydroxyl Radicals Attack Metallic Gold

Angewandte Chemie International Edition, Permalink: http://dx.doi.org/10.1002/anie.200906358

Fritz Scholz | Angewandte Chemie
Further information:
http://www.chemie.uni-greifswald.de/~analytik/
http://pressroom.angewandte.org

More articles from Life Sciences:

nachricht Ambush in a petri dish
24.11.2017 | Friedrich-Schiller-Universität Jena

nachricht Meadows beat out shrubs when it comes to storing carbon
23.11.2017 | Norwegian University of Science and Technology

All articles from Life Sciences >>>

The most recent press releases about innovation >>>

Die letzten 5 Focus-News des innovations-reports im Überblick:

Im Focus: New proton record: Researchers measure magnetic moment with greatest possible precision

High-precision measurement of the g-factor eleven times more precise than before / Results indicate a strong similarity between protons and antiprotons

The magnetic moment of an individual proton is inconceivably small, but can still be quantified. The basis for undertaking this measurement was laid over ten...

Im Focus: Frictional Heat Powers Hydrothermal Activity on Enceladus

Computer simulation shows how the icy moon heats water in a porous rock core

Heat from the friction of rocks caused by tidal forces could be the “engine” for the hydrothermal activity on Saturn's moon Enceladus. This presupposes that...

Im Focus: Nanoparticles help with malaria diagnosis – new rapid test in development

The WHO reports an estimated 429,000 malaria deaths each year. The disease mostly affects tropical and subtropical regions and in particular the African continent. The Fraunhofer Institute for Silicate Research ISC teamed up with the Fraunhofer Institute for Molecular Biology and Applied Ecology IME and the Institute of Tropical Medicine at the University of Tübingen for a new test method to detect malaria parasites in blood. The idea of the research project “NanoFRET” is to develop a highly sensitive and reliable rapid diagnostic test so that patient treatment can begin as early as possible.

Malaria is caused by parasites transmitted by mosquito bite. The most dangerous form of malaria is malaria tropica. Left untreated, it is fatal in most cases....

Im Focus: A “cosmic snake” reveals the structure of remote galaxies

The formation of stars in distant galaxies is still largely unexplored. For the first time, astron-omers at the University of Geneva have now been able to closely observe a star system six billion light-years away. In doing so, they are confirming earlier simulations made by the University of Zurich. One special effect is made possible by the multiple reflections of images that run through the cosmos like a snake.

Today, astronomers have a pretty accurate idea of how stars were formed in the recent cosmic past. But do these laws also apply to older galaxies? For around a...

Im Focus: Visual intelligence is not the same as IQ

Just because someone is smart and well-motivated doesn't mean he or she can learn the visual skills needed to excel at tasks like matching fingerprints, interpreting medical X-rays, keeping track of aircraft on radar displays or forensic face matching.

That is the implication of a new study which shows for the first time that there is a broad range of differences in people's visual ability and that these...

All Focus news of the innovation-report >>>

Anzeige

Anzeige

Event News

Ecology Across Borders: International conference brings together 1,500 ecologists

15.11.2017 | Event News

Road into laboratory: Users discuss biaxial fatigue-testing for car and truck wheel

15.11.2017 | Event News

#Berlin5GWeek: The right network for Industry 4.0

30.10.2017 | Event News

 
Latest News

IceCube experiment finds Earth can block high-energy particles from nuclear reactions

24.11.2017 | Physics and Astronomy

A 'half-hearted' solution to one-sided heart failure

24.11.2017 | Health and Medicine

Heidelberg Researchers Study Unique Underwater Stalactites

24.11.2017 | Earth Sciences

VideoLinks
B2B-VideoLinks
More VideoLinks >>>