Disclosed herein are methods and articles that include a plasmon-resonating nanostructure that employ a photo-thermal mechanism to catalyze the reduction of an oxidant. As such, the plasmon-resonating nanostructure catalyzes a redox reaction at a temperature below a predetermined activation temperature. The method can be efficiently used to catalyze the reduction of an oxidant, for example in a catalytic reactor or in a fuel cell that includes a photon source.
STATEMENT OF GOVERNMENT INTEREST
 This invention was made with governmental support under grants from the U.S. Department of Energy, Office of Basic Energy Sciences (DOE-BES) and Division of Chemical Science (FG-02-05ER15686), and the National Science Foundation (CBET 0756255). The government has certain rights in the invention.