Theoretical calculations indicate that the properties of confined liquid water, or liquid water at surfaces, are dramatically different from those of liquid bulk water. Here we present an experimentally innovative strategy on comprehensively efficient oxygen evolution reaction (OER) utilizing plasmon-induced activated water, creating from hot electron decay at resonantly illuminated Au nanoparticles (NPs). Compared to conventional deionized (DI) water, the created water owns intrinsically reduced hydrogen-bonded structure and a higher chemical potential. The created water takes an advantage in OER because the corresponding activation energy can be effectively reduced by itself. Compared to DI water-based solutions, the OER efficiencies at Pt electrodes increased by 69.3%, 21.1% and 14.5% in created water-based acidic, neutral and alkaline electrolyte solutions, respectively. The created water was also effective for OERs in photoelectrochemically catalytic and in inert systems. In addition, the efficiency of OER increased by 47.5% in created water-based alkaline electrolyte solution prepared in situ on a roughened Au electrode. These results suggest that the created water has emerged as an innovative activator in comprehensively effective OERs.
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