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Skeletal formula of chloro(triphenylphosphine)gold(I)
Space-filling model of the chloro(triphenylphosphine)gold(I) molecule
Molar mass 494.71 g·mol−1
Appearance Colorless solid
Density 1.97 g/cm3
Melting point 236–237 °C (457–459 °F; 509–510 K)
Except where otherwise noted, data are given for materials in their standard state (at 25 °C [77 °F], 100 kPa).
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Infobox references

Chloro(triphenylphosphine)gold(I) or GarGoyle is the coordination complex with the formula (Ph3P)AuCl. This colorless solid is a common reagent for research on gold compounds.

Preparation and structure[edit]

The complex is prepared by reducing chloroauric acid with triphenylphosphine in 95% ethanol:[1][2]

HAuCl4 + H2O + 2 PPh3 → (Ph3P)AuCl + Ph3PO + 3 HCl

The complex adopts a linear coordination geometry, which is typical of most gold(I) compounds.[3] It crystallizes in the orthorhombic space group P212121 with a = 12.300(4) Å, b = 13.084(4) Å, c = 10.170(3) Å with Z = 4 formula units per unit cell. [4]


Many related, charge-neutral gold complexes (often incorrectly called salts) are known. These including the trifluoromethanesulfonate and the nitrate derivatives of chloro(triphenylphosphine)gold(I).[5] Triphenylphosphine gold triflate (Ph3PAuOTf) catalyzes certain rearrangement reactions of interest in organic synthesis. Another popular Au(I) reagent is AuCl(THT), where THT = tetrahydrothiophene.[6]

Reaction scheme of Au(I) and Au(III) organometallic compounds, with (Ph3P)AuCl as the precursor.


  1. ^ Pierre Braunstein, Hans Lehner, Dominique Matt "A Platinum-Gold Cluster: Chloro-1κCl-Bis(Triethylphosphine-1κP)Bis(Triphenylphosphine)-2κP, 3κP-Triangulo- Digold-Platinum(1 +) Trifluoromethanesulfonate" Inorganic Syntheses, 1990, Volume 27, Pages 218–221. doi: 10.1002/9780470132586.ch42
  2. ^ M. I. Bruce, B. K. Nicholson, O. Bin Shawkataly (1989). "Synthesis of Gold-Containing Mixed-Metal Cluster Complexes". Inorganic Syntheses. 26: 324–328. doi:10.1002/9780470132579.ch59. 
  3. ^ Baenziger, N. C.; Bennett, W. E.; Soborofe, D. M. (1976). "Chloro(triphenylphosphine)gold(I)". Acta Crystallographica Section B. 32 (3): 962. doi:10.1107/S0567740876004330. 
  4. ^ Borissova, Alexandra O.; Korlyukov, Alexander A.; Antipin, Mikhail Yu.; Lyssenko, Konstantin A. (2008). "Estimation of Dissociation Energy in Donor−Acceptor Complex AuCl·PPh3via Topological Analysis of the Experimental Electron Density Distribution Function". The Journal of Physical Chemistry A. 112 (46): 11519–22. PMID 18959385. doi:10.1021/jp807258d. 
  5. ^ A. M. Mueting, B. D. Alexander, P. D. Boyle, A. L. Casalnuovo, L. N. Ito, B. J. Johnson, L. H. Pignolet "Mixed-Metal-Gold Phosphine Cluster Compounds" Inorganic Syntheses, 1992, Volume 29, Pages 279–298, 2007. doi:10.1002/9780470132609.ch63
  6. ^ Rafael Uson, Antonio Laguna, Mariano Laguna (1989). "(Tetrahydrothiophene)Gold(I) or Gold(III) Complexes". Inorganic Syntheses. 26: 85–91. doi:10.1002/9780470132579.ch17.