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Compounds of Gold and Phosphorus

Phosphine reacts with a solution of auric chloride in anhydrous ether, forming auric phosphide, AuP, a substance decomposed by water or potassium-hydroxide solution, with formation of phosphine and phosphoric acid. At 100° to 110° C. it undergoes oxidation in the air. Heating in a current of carbon dioxide causes volatilization of phosphorus. Nitric acid oxidizes the phosphorus, leaving a residue of metallic gold. These reactions indicate the substance to be an alloy of gold and phosphorus.

Gold phosphides

Gold sesquiphosphide, Au2P3, is said to be formed by heating phosphorus with gold.

Another phosphide

Another phosphide, Au3P4, is produced by the interaction of phosphorus vapour and gold. It is a grey, brittle substance, of density 6.67, and is formed only in the neighbourhood of 400° C. Acids react with it as with an alloy.

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