Dipole moments are a simple, global measure of the accuracy of the electron density of a polar molecule. Dipole moments also affect the interactions of a molecule with other molecules as well as electric fields. To directly assess the accuracy of modern density functionals for calculating dipole moments, we have developed a database of 200 benchmark dipole moments, using coupled cluster theory through triple excitations, extrapolated to the complete basis set limit. This new database is used to assess the performance of 88 popular or recently developed density functionals. The results suggest that double hybrid functionals perform the best, yielding dipole moments within about 3.6-4.5% regularized RMS error versus the reference values-which is not very different from the 4% regularized RMS error produced by coupled cluster singles and doubles. Many hybrid functionals also perform quite well, generating regularized RMS errors in the 5-6% range. Some functionals, however, exhibit large outliers, and local functionals in general perform less well than hybrids or double hybrids.

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.

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.

A 10-parameter, range-separated hybrid (RSH), generalized gradient approximation (GGA) density functional with nonlocal correlation (VV10) is presented. Instead of truncating the B97-type power series inhomogeneity correction factors (ICF) for the exchange, same-spin correlation, and opposite-spin correlation functionals uniformly, all 16,383 combinations of the linear parameters up to fourth order (m = 4) are considered. These functionals are individually fit to a training set and the resulting parameters are validated on a primary test set in order to identify the 3 optimal ICF expansions. Through this procedure, it is discovered that the functional that performs best on the training and primary test sets has 7 linear parameters, with 3 additional nonlinear parameters from range-separation and nonlocal correlation. The resulting density functional, ωB97X-V, is further assessed on a secondary test set, the parallel-displaced coronene dimer, as well as several geometry datasets. Furthermore, the basis set dependence and integration grid sensitivity of ωB97X-V are analyzed and documented in order to facilitate the use of the functional.

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.

Spin-component-scaled (SCS) second-order Møller-Plesset perturbation theory (MP2) improves the treatment of thermochemistry and noncovalent interactions relative to MP2, although the optimal scaling coefficients are quite different for thermochemistry versus noncovalent interactions. This work reconciles these two different scaling regimes for SCS-MP2 by using two different length scales for electronic attenuation of the two spin components. The attenuation parameters and scaling coefficients are optimized in the aug-cc-pVTZ (aTZ) basis using the S66 database of intermolecular interactions and the W4-11 database of thermochemistry. Transferability tests are performed for atomization energies and barrier heights, as well as on further test sets for inter- and intramolecular interactions. SCS dual-attenuated MP2 in the aTZ basis, SCS-MP2(2terfc, aTZ), performs similarly to SCS-MP2/aTZ for thermochemistry while frequently outperforming MP2 at the complete basis set limit (CBS) for nonbonded interactions.

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.

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.

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.

An energy decomposition analysis (EDA) of intermolecular interactions is proposed for second-order Møller-Plesset perturbation theory (MP2) based on absolutely localized molecular orbitals (ALMOs), as an extension to a previous ALMO-based EDA for self-consistent field methods. It decomposes the canonical MP2 binding energy by dividing the double excitations that contribute to the MP2 wave function into classes based on how the excitations involve different molecules. The MP2 contribution to the binding energy is decomposed into four components: frozen interaction, polarization, charge transfer, and dispersion. Charge transfer is defined by excitations that change the number of electrons on a molecule, dispersion by intermolecular excitations that do not transfer charge, and polarization and frozen interactions by intra-molecular excitations. The final two are separated by evaluations of the frozen, isolated wave functions in the presence of the other molecules, with adjustments for orbital response. Unlike previous EDAs for electron correlation methods, this one includes components for the electrostatics, which is vital as adjustment to the electrostatic behavior of the system is in some cases the dominant effect of the treatment of electron correlation. The proposed EDA is then applied to a variety of different systems to demonstrate that all proposed components behave correctly. This includes systems with one molecule and an external electric perturbation to test the separation between polarization and frozen interactions and various bimolecular systems in the equilibrium range and beyond to test the rest of the EDA. We find that it performs well on these tests. We then apply the EDA to a halogen bonded system to investigate the nature of the halogen bond.