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Systematic Computational Design and Optimization of Light Absorbing Dyes

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journal contribution
posted on 24.07.2020, 14:34 by Jelena Belić, Bas van Beek, Jan Paul Menzel, Francesco Buda, Lucas Visscher
We present a workflow to aid the discovery of new dyes for the role of a photosensitive unit in the dye-sensitized photo-electrochemical cells (DS-PECs). New structures are generated in a fully automated way using the Compound Attachment Tool (CAT) introduced in this work. These structures are characterized with efficient approximate density functional theory (DFT) methods, and molecules with favorable optical properties are suggested for possible further use in DS-PECs. As around 2500 structures are generated in this work, and as we aim for still larger volumes of compounds to screen in subsequent applications, we have assessed the reliability of low-cost screening methods and show that simplified time-dependent density functional theory (sTDDFT) provides a satisfying accuracy/cost ratio. From the dyes considered, we propose a set that can be suitable for panchromatic sensitization of the photoelectrode in DS-PECs to further increase DS-PEC efficiency.