Industrial demand for gold continues to be dominated by the electronics sector. Gold’s conductive properties and resistance to corrosion means that it remains central to innovations in wiring and coatings in this field.
However, the metal’s unique properties and the advent of ‘nanotechnology’ are driving new uses on the cutting edge of medicine, environmental management and advanced electronics, which could grow into significant new markets for gold.
Nanotechnology is a branch of science that exploits both the properties exhibited by materials at the scale of a few nanometres—the size of a few atoms—and our rapidly evolving understanding of biology and chemistry to build materials with specific roles. Through these techniques, gold can be used to build highly-targeted methods for delivering drugs into the human body; to create conducting plastics and specialised pigments; or advanced catalysts which can purify water or air.