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The element cesium, whose name comes from the Latin word caesius (“sky blue”), is one of the most reactive and spontaneous elements on Earth. It is a soft, silvery metal that melts at 28.5@C (83.3@F) and boils at just over 100@C (181.4@F). This makes it very difficult to work with in its pure form, as it is highly flammable and explodes in contact with cold water.

It is also extremely expensive and only available in limited quantities. This is why chemists have to find creative ways to use it! For example, they can combine it with gold to make a very interesting photocatalyst. In this article, we will learn how to synthesize and decorate cesium selenide (CsSe) with different weight percentages of gold-selenide quantum dots (AuSe QDs).

In order to prepare the CsSe, 5.0 mmol of gold chloride and 5.0 mmol of selenium chloride were dissolved in distilled water, then NaBH4 was added dropwise at RT. The mixture was stirred for 30 minutes and the formed precipitate was collected by centrifugation. The precipitate was washed with distilled water and anhydrous ethanol to remove excess NaBH4. The characterization of the AuSe QDs/Cs2Fe2O4 NC photocatalyst was performed by nitrogen adsorption–desorption isotherms, X-ray diffraction patterns, transmission electron microscopy, and UV-vis absorption spectroscopy.

The discovery of cesium was made in 1860 by Robert Wilhelm Bunsen and Gustav Kirchhoff, who found the compound while studying the mineral pollucite. It was later isolated by Carl Theodor Setterberg, who used a spectroscopic analysis of molten cesium cyanide to isolate the pure metal. Cesium is a reactive, volatile metal that reacts with all halogens to form cesium fluoride, cesium bromide, and cesium iodide. It can also form soluble salts with alkali metals and sulfonates, such as cesium sulfide and cesium nitrate. Cesium has a large valence electron shell and a low effective nuclear charge. The atomic radius of cesium is 298 pm, which is much larger than the atoms of carbon and oxygen, which have a radius of 67 pm. This makes it very reactive and easy to bond with other atoms.