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  • 1 King Fahd University of Petroleum and Minerals Center for Refining and Petrochemicals, Research Institute Dhahran 31261 Saudi Arabia
  • 2 King Fahd University of Petroleum and Minerals Department of Chemistry Dhahran 31261 Saudi Arabia
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Combined TG/DTA techniques have been used to study the thermal decomposition of R3PAuCN (where Ris ethyl, cyclohexyl, o-tolyl, m-tolyl, p-tolyl, allyl, cyanoethyl,1-naphthyl and phenyl) complexes. It was observed that all of these complexes underwant decomposition cum redox reactions in the range of 200–600oC with evolution of both transligands, which are phosphine and cyanide, leaving metallic gold as a residue. The thermal decomposition of o-Tol3PAuCN has revealed that this is a stepwise process. In the first step decomposition takes place with evolution of phosphine and generation of AuCN, which in second step undergoes a redox reaction to produce metallic gold. The DTA curves have also confirmed these results.