Structurally Diverse Covalent Triazine-based Framework Materials for Photocatalytic Hydrogen Evolution from Water

A structurally diverse family of 39 covalent triazine-based framework materials (CTFs) is synthesized by Suzuki-Miyaura polycondensation and tested as hydrogen evolution photocatalysts using a high-throughput workflow. The two best-performing CTFs are based on benzonitrile and dibenzo[b,d]thiophene sulfone linkers, respectively, with catalytic activities that are among the highest for this material class. The activities of the different CTFs are rationalized in terms of four variables: the predicted electron affinity, the predicted ionization potential, the optical gap, and the dispersibility of the CTFs particles in solution, as measured by optical transmittance. The electron affinity and dispersibility in solution are the best predictors of photocatalytic hydrogen evolution activity.