Using High-Throughput Virtual Screening to Explore the Optoelectronic Property Space of Organic Dyes; Finding Diketopyrrolopyrrole Dyes for Dye-Sensitized Watersplitting and Solar Cells

Organic dyes based on conjugated chromophores such as diketopyrrolopyrrole (DPP) have a large range of uses beyond providing colour to other materials, such as in dye-sensitized solar cells, dye-sensitized photoelectrochemical cells, dye-sensitized colloidal photocatalysts and organic photovoltaics. We perform a high-throughput virtual screening using the xTB family of density functional tight-binding methods to map the optoelectronic property space of ~45,000 DPP dyes. The large volume of data at our disposal allows us to probe the difference between symmetric and asymmetric dyes and to identify the apparent boundaries of the optoelectronic property space for these dyes, as well as which substituents give access to particular combinations of properties. Finally, we use our dataset to screen for DPP dyes that can drive the reduction of protons to molecular hydrogen when illuminated as part of dye-sensitized photoelectrochemical cells or dye-sensitized colloidal photocatalysts, or as dyes for TiO2-based dye-sensitized solar cells.