oxidation of solid gold was studied in chloroform solutions of cetyltrimethylammonium bromide (CTAB). We observed that, upon sonication, solid gold is oxidized and cetyltrimethylammonium tetrabromo aurate is formed. The Br- ions act as a nucleophile that lowers the reduction potential of gold and molecular oxygen from the air acts as an oxidant. Addition of hydrazine to the sonicated solution leads to the formation of gold nanoparticles dispersed in chloroform. (c) 2005 Elsevier B.V. All rights reserved.