Materials List: Thirsty for Gold

Each group needs:

  • 20 ml gold colloid (have students synthesize these gold nanoparticles using supplies listed below and instructions in the Procedure section; alternatively: purchase the gold nanoparticles—see suggested source below, or ask for a small supply from your local university)
  • Gatorade IceTM (colorless flavor), 2 drops
  • pickle juice with little color, 2 drops
  • Pedialyte® (flavorless), 2 drops
  • PowerAdeTM (any colorless flavor), 2 drops
  • 4 1-dram glass vials (at or
  • 4 disposable plastic pipets
  • glass waste container with screw-top lid
  • gloves and goggles for each student
  • Thirsty for Gold Worksheet, one per student

Supplies for gold nanoparticle fabrication by teacher for the entire class:

  • 20 ml of 1.0 mM HAuCl4, gold (III) chloride hydrate; for example, part #244169-500 mg for $98 at NOTE: To make 20 ml solution of 1.0 mM HAuCl4, dissolve 7 mg of solid gold (III) chloride hydrate in distilled water.
  • 2 ml of 38.8 mM Na3C6H5O7, sodium citrate anhydrous; for example, part #W302600-Sample K for $40 at NOTE: to make 2 ml of 38.8 mM sodium citrate anhydrous, dissolve 14.86 mg of solid Na3C6H5O7 in 2 ml of distilled water.
  • stirring hot plate
  • magnetic stir bar
  • distilled water, 50 ml (this is water for the above solution preparation and additions as solutions boil)
  • (optional) refrigerator, for cooling solution, and fume hood

To purchase gold nanoparticles (or ask for a small supply from your local university biochemistry or chemistry programs):

  • Get enough for 20 ml gold colloid per group
  • Example source of gold colloid: part #752568 for $298 at NOTE: It is much less expensive to source raw chemicals and make solutions, and raw materials last for multiple activities.