Active and Stable Liquid Water Innovatively Prepared Using Resonantly Illuminated Gold Nanoparticles

The properties of confined liquid water, or liquid water in contact with hydrophobic surfaces, are significantly different from those of bulk liquid water. However, all of water’s commonly described properties are related to inert “bulk liquid water” which comprises a tetrahedral hydrogen-bonded network. In this work, we report an innovative and facile method for preparing small water clusters (SWCs) with reduced affinity hydrogen bonds by letting bulk water flow through supported Au nanoparticles (NPs) under resonant illumination to give NP-treated (AuNT) water at constant temperature. Utilizing localized surface plasmon resonance on illuminated Au NPs, the strong hydrogen bonds of bulk water can be disordered when water is located at the illuminated Au/water interface. The prepared SWCs are free of Au NPs. The energy efficiency for creating SWCs is ∼17%. The resulting stable AuNT water exhibits distinct properties at room temperature, which are significantly different from the properties of untreated bulk water, examples being their ability to scavenge free hydroxyl and 2,2-diphenyl-1-picryl­hydrazyl radicals and to effectively reduce NO release from lipo­polysaccharide-induced inflammatory cells.