Photochemical solution-phase reactions have been widely applied for the syntheses of nanocrystals. In particular, tuning of the nucleation and growth of solids has been a major area of focus. Here we demonstrate a facile approach to generate atomically dispersed platinum via photochemical reduction of frozen chloroplatinic acid solution using ultraviolet light. Using this iced-photochemical reduction, the aggregation of atoms is prevented, and single atoms are successfully stabilized. The platinum atoms are deposited on various substrates, including mesoporous carbon, graphene, carbon nanotubes, titanium dioxide nanoparticles, and zinc oxide nanowires. The atomically dispersed platinum on mesoporous carbon exhibits efficient catalytic activity for the electrochemical hydrogen evolution reaction, with an overpotential of only 65 mV at a current density of 100 mA cm−2 and long-time durability (>10 h), superior to state-of-the-art platinum/carbon. This iced-photochemical reduction may be extended to other single atoms, for example gold and silver, as demonstrated in this study.