Gas-Phase Synthesis and Intense Visible Absorption of Tryptophan–Gold Cations


  • We are grateful to the ANR-08-BLAN-0110-01 and the Deutsche Forschungsgemeinschaft (DFG) SFB 450 for financial support of this work. R.M. acknowledges support by the DFG in the framework of the Emmy-Noether-Programme. M.B. is senior professor at the Institut Universitaire de France.


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The color of gold: The tryptophan–gold cation was synthesized and its unique optical properties were studied experimentally and by ab initio calculations (see picture). The complex exhibits strong absorption in the visible region owing to charge-transfer excitations, which make gold complexes attractive for bioapplications.