Bulk water is generally considered to be an inert solvent because of its tetrahedral hydrogen-bonded structure. Recently, unusual properties of confined water in nanosized environments have aroused widespread interest. However, these unusual properties disappear outside of nanosized environments. In this work, we report innovative applications of plasmon-activated water (PAW) as a catalytically reducing solvent. Active, electron-doped liquid water was prepared from hot electron transfer (HEF) on supported gold nanoparticles (AuNPs) under resonant illumination. The resulting stable PAW and its vapor demonstrated distinct properties of comprehensive reducing abilities, which significantly differed from known properties of inert deionized water (DIW). We provide examples of their encouraging performances of reducing the strong oxidant, KMnO4, reducing preparation of AuNPs from their precursors, and reducing dedoping conductive polymers of oxidized polypyrrole (PPy). This innovative concept has emerged as a promising green application in catalytic reduction technologies.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)411-421
Number of pages11
JournalACS Sustainable Chemistry and Engineering
Issue number1
Publication statusPublished - Jan 11 2021


  • catalytic reduction
  • gold nanoparticles
  • plasmon-activated water
  • reduction
  • vapor

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Chemistry(all)
  • Environmental Chemistry
  • Chemical Engineering(all)
  • Renewable Energy, Sustainability and the Environment


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