A meta-generalized gradient approximation density functional paired with the VV10 nonlocal correlation functional is presented. The functional form is selected from more than 10(10) choices carved out of a functional space of almost 10(40) possibilities. Raw data come from training a vast number of candidate functional forms on a comprehensive training set of 1095 data points and testing the resulting fits on a comprehensive primary test set of 1153 data points. Functional forms are ranked based on their ability to reproduce the data in both the training and primary test sets with minimum empiricism, and filtered based on a set of physical constraints and an often-overlooked condition of satisfactory numerical precision with medium-sized integration grids. The resulting optimal functional form has 4 linear exchange parameters, 4 linear same-spin correlation parameters, and 4 linear opposite-spin correlation parameters, for a total of 12 fitted parameters. The final density functional, B97M-V, is further assessed on a secondary test set of 212 data points, applied to several large systems including the coronene dimer and water clusters, tested for the accurate prediction of intramolecular and intermolecular geometries, verified to have a readily attainable basis set limit, and checked for grid sensitivity. Compared to existing density functionals, B97M-V is remarkably accurate for non-bonded interactions and very satisfactory for thermochemical quantities such as atomization energies, but inherits the demonstrable limitations of existing local density functionals for barrier heights.

We derive and assess two new classes of regularizers that cope with offending denominators in the single-reference second-order Møller-Plesset perturbation theory (MP2). In particular, we discuss the use of two types of orbital energy dependent regularizers, κ and σ, in conjunction with orbital-optimized MP2 (OOMP2). The resulting fifth-order-scaling methods, κ-OOMP2 and σ-OOMP2, have been examined for bond-breaking, thermochemistry, nonbonded interactions, and biradical problems. Both methods with strong enough regularization restore restricted to unrestricted instability (i.e., Coulson-Fischer points) that unregularized OOMP2 lacks when breaking bonds in H2, C2H6, C2H4, and C2H2. The training of the κ and σ regularization parameters was performed with the W4-11 set. We further developed scaled correlation energy variants, κ-S-OOMP2 and σ-S-OOMP2, by training on the TAE140 subset of the W4-11 set. Those new OOMP2 methods were tested on the RSE43 set and the TA13 set where unmodified OOMP2 itself performs very well. The modifications we made were found insignificant in these data sets. Furthermore, we tested the new OOMP2 methods on singlet biradicaloids using Yamaguchi's approximate spin-projection. Unlike the unregularized OOMP2, which fails to converge these systems due to the singularity, we show that regularized OOMP2 methods successfully capture strong biradicaloid characters. While further assessment on larger data sets is desirable, κ-OOMP2 with κ = 1.45 E h-1 appears to combine favorable recovery of Coulson-Fischer points with good numerical performance.

A meta-generalized gradient approximation, range-separated double hybrid (DH) density functional with VV10 non-local correlation is presented. The final 14-parameter functional form is determined by screening trillions of candidate fits through a combination of best subset selection, forward stepwise selection, and random sample consensus (RANSAC) outlier detection. The MGCDB84 database of 4986 data points is employed in this work, containing a training set of 870 data points, a validation set of 2964 data points, and a test set of 1152 data points. Following an xDH approach, orbitals from the ωB97M-V density functional are used to compute the second-order perturbation theory correction. The resulting functional, ωB97M(2), is benchmarked against a variety of leading double hybrid density functionals, including B2PLYP-D3(BJ), B2GPPLYP-D3(BJ), ωB97X-2(TQZ), XYG3, PTPSS-D3(0), XYGJ-OS, DSD-PBEP86-D3(BJ), and DSD-PBEPBE-D3(BJ). Encouragingly, the overall performance of ωB97M(2) on nearly 5000 data points clearly surpasses that of all of the tested density functionals. As a Rung 5 density functional, ωB97M(2) completes our family of combinatorially optimized functionals, complementing B97M-V on Rung 3, and ωB97X-V and ωB97M-V on Rung 4. The results suggest that ωB97M(2) has the potential to serve as a powerful predictive tool for accurate and efficient electronic structure calculations of main-group chemistry.

Static polarizabilities are the first response of the electron density to electric fields, and are therefore important for predicting intermolecular and molecule-field interactions. They also offer a global measure of the accuracy of the treatment of excited states by density functionals in a formally exact manner. We have developed a database of benchmark static polarizabilities for 132 small species at equilibrium geometry, using coupled cluster theory through triple excitations (extrapolated to the complete basis set limit), for the purpose of developing and assessing density functionals. The performance of 60 popular and recent functionals are also assessed, which indicates that double hybrid functionals perform the best, having RMS relative errors in the range of 2.5-3.8%. Many hybrid functionals also give quite reasonable estimates with 4-5% RMS relative error. A few meta-GGAs like mBEEF and MVS yield performance comparable to hybrids, indicating potential for improved excited state predictions relative to typical local functionals. Some recent functionals however are found to be prone to catastrophic failure (possibly as a consequence of overparameterization), indicating a need for caution in applying these.

Energy decomposition analysis (EDA) is a widely used tool for extracting physical and chemical insights from electronic structure calculations of intermolecular interactions, as well as for the development of advanced force fields for describing those interactions. Recently, the absolutely localized molecular orbital (ALMO) EDA has been extended from the self-consistent field level to the second-order Møller-Plesset (MP2) theory level. This paper reports an efficient implementation of the MP2 ALMO-EDA that scales optimally, employs the resolution of the identity (RI) approximation for post-SCF matrix elements, and is shared-memory parallel. The algorithms necessary to achieve this implementation are described in detail. Performance tests using the aug-cc-pVTZ basis set for water clusters of up to 10 molecules are reported. The timings suggest that the MP2 ALMO-EDA is computationally feasible whenever MP2 energy calculations themselves are feasible, and the cost is dominated by the SCF itself in this size regime. The MP2 ALMO-EDA is applied to study the origin of substituent effects in anion-π interactions between chloride and benzene and mono- through hexafluorobenzene. The effect of fluoro substituents was primarily to change the frozen interaction. Detailed analysis supports the interpretation that anion-π interactions are favorable because of electrostatic interaction with the substituents.

The work herein is concerned with developing computational models to understand molecules. The underlying theme of this research is the reassessment of zeroth-order approximations for higher-level methods. For second-order Moller-Plesset theory (MP2), qualitative failures of the Hartree-Fock orbitals in the form of spin contamination can lead to catastrophic errors in the second order energies. By working with orbitals optimized in the presence of correlations, orbital-optimized MP2 can fix the spin contamination problem that plague radicals, aromatics, and transition metal complexes. In path integral Monte Carlo for vibrational energies, the zeroth-order propagator is typically chosen to be the most general possible, the free particle propagator; we chose to be informed by the molecular structure we have already attained and apply a propagator based on the harmonic modes of the molecule, improving sampling efficiency and our Trotter approximation.

We present the use of the recently developed square gradient minimization (SGM) algorithm for excited-state orbital optimization to obtain spin-pure restricted open-shell Kohn-Sham (ROKS) energies for core excited states of molecules. The SGM algorithm is robust against variational collapse and offers a reliable route to converging orbitals for target excited states at only 2-3 times the cost of ground-state orbital optimization (per iteration). ROKS/SGM with the modern SCAN/ωB97X-V functionals is found to predict the K-edge of C, N, O, and F to a root mean squared error of ∼0.3 eV. ROKS/SGM is equally effective at predicting L-edge spectra of third period elements, provided a perturbative spin-orbit correction is employed. This high accuracy can be contrasted with traditional time-dependent density functional theory (TDDFT), which typically has greater than 10 eV error and requires translation of computed spectra to align with experiment. ROKS is computationally affordable (having the same scaling as ground-state DFT and a slightly larger prefactor) and can be applied to geometry optimizations/ab initio molecular dynamics of core excited states, as well as condensed phase simulations. ROKS can also model doubly excited/ionized states with one broken electron pair, which are beyond the ability of linear response based methods.

A combinatorially optimized, range-separated hybrid, meta-GGA density functional with VV10 nonlocal correlation is presented. The final 12-parameter functional form is selected from approximately 10 × 10(9) candidate fits that are trained on a training set of 870 data points and tested on a primary test set of 2964 data points. The resulting density functional, ωB97M-V, is further tested for transferability on a secondary test set of 1152 data points. For comparison, ωB97M-V is benchmarked against 11 leading density functionals including M06-2X, ωB97X-D, M08-HX, M11, ωM05-D, ωB97X-V, and MN15. Encouragingly, the overall performance of ωB97M-V on nearly 5000 data points clearly surpasses that of all of the tested density functionals. In order to facilitate the use of ωB97M-V, its basis set dependence and integration grid sensitivity are thoroughly assessed, and recommendations that take into account both efficiency and accuracy are provided.

We study the role of Rydberg bound-states and continuum levels in the field-induced electronic dynamics associated with the High-Harmonic Generation (HHG) spectroscopy of the hydrogen atom. Time-dependent configuration-interaction (TD-CI) is used with very large atomic orbital (AO) expansions (up to L = 4 with sextuple augmentation and off-center functions) to describe the bound Rydberg levels, and some continuum levels. To address the lack of ionization losses in TD-CI with finite AO basis sets, we employed a heuristic lifetime for energy levels above the ionization potential. The heuristic lifetime model is compared against the conventional atomic orbital treatment (infinite lifetimes), and a third approximation which is TD-CI using only the bound levels (continuum lifetimes go to zero). The results suggest that spectra calculated using conventional TD-CI do not converge with increasing AO basis set size, while the zero lifetime and heuristic lifetime models converge to qualitatively similar spectra, with implications for how best to apply bound state electronic structure methods to simulate HHG. The origin of HHG spectral features including the cutoff and extent of interference between peaks is uncovered by separating field-induced coupling between different types of levels (ground state, bound Rydberg levels, and continuum) in the simulated electronic dynamics. Thus the origin of deviations between the predictions of the semi-classical three step model and the full simulation can be associated with particular physical contributions, which helps to explain both the successes and the limitations of the three step model.

Orbital-optimized second-order perturbation theory (OOMP2) optimizes the zeroth order wave function in the presence of correlations, removing the dependence of the method on Hartree-Fock orbitals. This is particularly important for systems where mean field orbitals spin contaminate to artificially lower the zeroth order energy such as open shell molecules, highly conjugated systems, and organometallic compounds. Unfortunately, the promise of OOMP2 is hampered by the possibility of solutions being drawn into divergences, which can occur during the optimization procedure if HOMO and LUMO energies approach degeneracy. In this work, we regularize these divergences through the simple addition of a level shift parameter to the denominator of the MP2 amplitudes. We find that a large level shift parameter of 400 mEh removes divergent behavior while also improving the overall accuracy of the method for atomization energies, barrier heights, intermolecular interactions, radical stabilization energies, and metal binding energies.