Light gold: a colloidal approach using latex templates

Leonie van 't Hag, Stephan Handschin, Pascal M. Gschwend, Raffaele Mezzenga

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4 Citations (Scopus)


A new 18 karat light gold, composed of gold single crystals, amyloids, and a polymer latex matrix is developed. It is similar to a glassy plastic, yet lighter than aluminum and of use in watches, jewelry, radiation shielding, catalysis, and electronics. The material is prepared via a hydrogel precursor dried into an aerogel. Annealing of the polystyrene matrix under vacuum gives rise to a homogeneous template. The final apparent density and porosity of the material depend directly on the volumetric concentration of the starting solution used for hydrogel formation. After annealing, a homogeneous microstructure is obtained in which the shining gold single crystal platelets are evenly embedded in a polystyrene matrix. The material has a glass transition temperature of ≈105 °C which allows for annealing and molding above this temperature. A general scaling behavior is found for the Young's modulus of the material with the density. The Young's modulus of the material with a density of 1.7 g cm−3 is ≈50 MPa. The density and stiffness, as well as the color, of the material can be tuned depending on the final application.
Original languageEnglish
Article number1908458
Number of pages9
JournalAdvanced Functional Materials
Issue number9
Publication statusPublished - 26 Feb 2020
Externally publishedYes


  • composite materials
  • elemental gold
  • polymeric matrix
  • polystyrene
  • scaling behavior

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