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J Phys Chem A. 2007 Mar 1;111(8):1554-61. Epub 2007 Feb 6.

Comparison of DFT methods for molecular orbital eigenvalue calculations.

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Department of Chemical Engineering, Stanford University, Stanford, California 94305, USA.


We report how closely the Kohn-Sham highest occupied molecular orbital (HOMO) and lowest unoccupied molecular orbital (LUMO) eigenvalues of 11 density functional theory (DFT) functionals, respectively, correspond to the negative ionization potentials (-IPs) and electron affinities (EAs) of a test set of molecules. We also report how accurately the HOMO-LUMO gaps of these methods predict the lowest excitation energies using both time-independent and time-dependent DFT (TD-DFT). The 11 DFT functionals include the local spin density approximation (LSDA), five generalized gradient approximation (GGA) functionals, three hybrid GGA functionals, one hybrid functional, and one hybrid meta GGA functional. We find that the HOMO eigenvalues predicted by KMLYP, BH&HLYP, B3LYP, PW91, PBE, and BLYP predict the -IPs with average absolute errors of 0.73, 1.48, 3.10, 4.27, 4.33, and 4.41 eV, respectively. The LUMOs of all functionals fail to accurately predict the EAs. Although the GGA functionals inaccurately predict both the HOMO and LUMO eigenvalues, they predict the HOMO-LUMO gap relatively accurately (approximately 0.73 eV). On the other hand, the LUMO eigenvalues of the hybrid functionals fail to predict the EA to the extent that they include HF exchange, although increasing HF exchange improves the correspondence between the HOMO eigenvalue and -IP so that the HOMO-LUMO gaps are inaccurately predicted by hybrid DFT functionals. We find that TD-DFT with all functionals accurately predicts the HOMO-LUMO gaps. A linear correlation between the calculated HOMO eigenvalue and the experimental -IP and calculated HOMO-LUMO gap and experimental lowest excitation energy enables us to derive a simple correction formula.

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