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Title: The perturbation energy: A missing key to understand the “nobleness” of bulk gold

The nobleness of gold surfaces has been appreciated since long before the beginning of recorded history. Yet, the origin of this phenomenon remains open because the so far existing explanations either incorrectly imply that silver should be the noblest metal or would fail to predict the dissolution of Au in aqua regia. Here, based on our analyses of oxygen adsorption, we advance that bulk gold’s unique resistance to oxidation is traced to the large energy cost associated with the perturbation its surfaces undergo upon adsorption of highly electronegative species. This fact is related to the almost totally filled d-band of Au and relativistic effects, but does not imply that the strength of the adsorbate-Au bond is weak. The magnitude of the structural and charge-density perturbation energy upon adsorption of atomic oxygen—which is largest for Au—is assessed from first-principles calculations and confirmed via a multiple regression analysis of the binding energy of oxygen on metal surfaces.
Authors:
;  [1]
  1. Department of Physics, University of Central Florida, Orlando, Florida 32816 (United States)
Publication Date:
OSTI Identifier:
22415808
Resource Type:
Journal Article
Resource Relation:
Journal Name: Journal of Chemical Physics; Journal Volume: 142; Journal Issue: 19; Other Information: (c) 2015 AIP Publishing LLC; Country of input: International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA)
Country of Publication:
United States
Language:
English
Subject:
37 INORGANIC, ORGANIC, PHYSICAL AND ANALYTICAL CHEMISTRY; ADSORPTION; AQUA REGIA; BINDING ENERGY; CHARGE DENSITY; DISSOLUTION; DISTURBANCES; GOLD; OXIDATION; OXYGEN; REGRESSION ANALYSIS; RELATIVISTIC RANGE; SILVER