Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations

Natural 'Invisible' Gold Found In Nanoparticles

Date:
June 24, 2008
Source:
CSIRO Australia
Summary:
Nanoparticles of gold too small to be seen with the naked eye have been created in laboratories, but up until now, have never been seen in nature.

Scanning electron microscope image of the gold triangles showing their well defined crystal shape
Credit: CSIRO

Nanoparticles of gold too small to be seen with the naked eye have been created in laboratories, but up until now, have never been seen in nature.

The search for these natural but ‘invisible’ nanoparticles is important. If they can be proved to exist, the knowledge will help give us a deeper understanding of how gold can be transported and deposited by geological processes, and therefore help explorers to find new gold deposits in Australia.

Now, hard evidence that gold nanoparticles have finally been seen in nature is presented in a paper published in GEOLOGY and authored by CSIRO Scientists from the Minerals Down Under National Research Flagship and CRC LEME, in collaboration with scientists from Curtin University and the University of Western Australia.

Lead author, CSIRO’s Dr Rob Hough, explains that the particles were discovered in Western Australia. “In the southern areas of the State, groundwater is very salty and acidic. This water dissolves primary gold and re-deposits it as pure gold crystals on fracture surfaces and in open pore spaces,” he says.

“On investigation of these crystals, there appeared to be a dark band across them. However, high magnification imaging showed the band was in fact, a mass of gold nanoparticles and nanoplates. These are identical to those being manufactured in laboratories around the world for their unique properties.”

Clays from the fracture surface were then analysed. There was no gold visible, but analysis showed the clays contained up to 59 parts-per-million of gold. The research team concluded that the nanoparticles of gold they had imaged represented the ‘invisible’ gold in the clay, and that this nanosized gold was common in similar environments.

“The gold nanoparticles have not been identified earlier because they are transparent to electron beams and effectively invisible,” Dr Hough says. “However, they are probably a common form of gold in this type of natural environment worldwide, where saline water interacts with gold deposits. They also provide the first direct observation of the nanoscale mobility of gold during weathering.”

With gold fetching around (AU) $950 an ounce and expected to rise, this research is good news for Australia’s gold explorers.


Story Source:

The above story is based on materials provided by CSIRO Australia. Note: Materials may be edited for content and length.


Cite This Page:

CSIRO Australia. "Natural 'Invisible' Gold Found In Nanoparticles." ScienceDaily. ScienceDaily, 24 June 2008. <www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2008/06/080623105020.htm>.
CSIRO Australia. (2008, June 24). Natural 'Invisible' Gold Found In Nanoparticles. ScienceDaily. Retrieved July 30, 2014 from www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2008/06/080623105020.htm
CSIRO Australia. "Natural 'Invisible' Gold Found In Nanoparticles." ScienceDaily. www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2008/06/080623105020.htm (accessed July 30, 2014).

Share This




More Matter & Energy News

Wednesday, July 30, 2014

Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations


Featured Videos

from AP, Reuters, AFP, and other news services

Britain Testing Driverless Cars on Roadways

Britain Testing Driverless Cars on Roadways

AP (July 30, 2014) British officials said on Wednesday that driverless cars will be tested on roads in as many as three cities in a trial program set to begin in January. Officials said the tests will last up to three years. (July 30) Video provided by AP
Powered by NewsLook.com
China's Drone King Says the Revolution Depends on Regulators

China's Drone King Says the Revolution Depends on Regulators

Reuters - Business Video Online (July 30, 2014) Comparing his current crop of drones to early personal computers, DJI founder Frank Wang says the industry is poised for a growth surge - assuming regulators in more markets clear it for takeoff. Jon Gordon reports. Video provided by Reuters
Powered by NewsLook.com
3Doodler Bring 3-D Printing to Your Hand

3Doodler Bring 3-D Printing to Your Hand

AP (July 30, 2014) 3-D printing is a cool technology, but it's not exactly a hands-on way to make things. Enter the 3Doodler: the pen that turns you into the 3-D printer. AP technology writer Peter Svensson takes a closer look. (July 30) Video provided by AP
Powered by NewsLook.com
Climate Change Could Cost Billions, According To White House

Climate Change Could Cost Billions, According To White House

Newsy (July 29, 2014) A report from the White House warns not curbing greenhouse gas emissions could cost the U.S. billions. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com

Search ScienceDaily

Number of stories in archives: 140,361

Find with keyword(s):
Enter a keyword or phrase to search ScienceDaily for related topics and research stories.

Save/Print:
Share:

Breaking News:
from the past week

In Other News

... from NewsDaily.com

Science News

Health News

Environment News

Technology News



Save/Print:
Share:

Free Subscriptions


Get the latest science news with ScienceDaily's free email newsletters, updated daily and weekly. Or view hourly updated newsfeeds in your RSS reader:

Get Social & Mobile


Keep up to date with the latest news from ScienceDaily via social networks and mobile apps:

Have Feedback?


Tell us what you think of ScienceDaily -- we welcome both positive and negative comments. Have any problems using the site? Questions?
Mobile: iPhone Android Web
Follow: Facebook Twitter Google+
Subscribe: RSS Feeds Email Newsletters
Latest Headlines Health & Medicine Mind & Brain Space & Time Matter & Energy Computers & Math Plants & Animals Earth & Climate Fossils & Ruins