Why is gold so much much less reenergetic than copper and silver despite their occupying the exact same team on the regular table?

I thought that aspects in the same column were supposed to have actually equivalent chemical properties (like the noble gasses), however gold is famously unreactive while copper and silver form an excellent many type of compounds.For example, I know that gold is frequently supplied for electric relations because copper and also silver will certainly oxidize, resulting in a poor link.

You are watching: Why is copper more reactive than silver



Gold's electron configuration for its external electrons is 5d10 6s1.

That indicates its 5d electrons are full, so it doesn't have conveniently obtainable d electrons or orbitals for reacting.

http://www.bbc.co.uk/bitesize/ks3/science/images/reactivity.gif

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Noble_metal

Copper, silver, and also gold are all generally unreactive to air and also water and also such. They are known as noble metals.

The 6s electrons are topic to relativistic results as they relocate so quick, which has a tendency to make them lower energy as the electrons get heavier. This renders the 6s electrons especially difficult to oxidize as they are closer to the nucleus.

http://connect.springer.com/article/10.1007%2FBF03215471

So gold is specifically unreactive.


That's a really great question. One would think that having even more electrons than Copper and also Silver (and farther ameans from the nucleus) that it would certainly hold onto it's electrons a lot much less efficiently and also therefore oxidize even more easily.

It's a lot of most likely as a result of the comparatively high electron affinity of the noble steels (copper, silver, gold) this is most likely as a result of the electron configuration (full d orbitals and also the outermost s1 orbital). Because electron affinity is preleading in this team, a bigger nucleus means a better organize on those electrons and much less tendency to oxidize (as opposed to the opposite extreme that happens in alkali steels wright here low electron affinity means that heavier aspects have actually a bigger atomic radius and a weaker host on those electrons).


At leastern for group 7-12, it is a general trfinish that the aspect in the initially shift series is much more reenergetic than the ones in the second and also 3rd transition series. keeping that in mind, the question reduces to "why is silver so reactive". While silver is even more reenergetic than the other heavy steels of group 7-12 (via he feasible exemption of cadmium, while I have actually made cadmium metal electrochemically, I don't have much endure through it), I think the reactivity is often overproclaimed because of the stability of one compound: silver sulfide. This is the black layer that develops once silver tarnishes. Had this compond not been so steady, silver would not tarnish to the very same level.


To include or really simply to restate what others have said via electrons and orbitals, on a "quantum" level, the fermi level of the electrons in gold is greater than these other metals.

This suggests once atoms/molecules try to bind through gold, the anti-bonding says that are developed are more most likely to be filled (as opposed to being empty), or are filled with more electrons than in the situation of copper or silver.

See more: Top 10 Famous Quotes About The End Of The World Quotes & Sayings

See "Why Gold is the noblest of all the metals" by Hammer and also Norskov, Nature, 1995.

(Theres additionally a distinction in the coupling matrix in between orbitals of gold and also the orbitals of molecules/atoms and also those of copper/silver-molecules/atoms, however I can't explain that.)


http://www.webfacets.com/gold/compounds.html

From what I recognize, 3+ is actually the most widespread oxidation state of gold, although it deserve to variety from -1 (Rubidium Auride) to +5 (Gold pentafluoride)