Quantum chemical accuracy from density functional approximations via machine learning.
- Author(s): Bogojeski, Mihail
- Vogt-Maranto, Leslie
- Tuckerman, Mark E
- Müller, Klaus-Robert
- Burke, Kieron
- et al.
Published Web Locationhttps://doi.org/10.1038/s41467-020-19093-1
Kohn-Sham density functional theory (DFT) is a standard tool in most branches of chemistry, but accuracies for many molecules are limited to 2-3 kcal ⋅ mol-1 with presently-available functionals. Ab initio methods, such as coupled-cluster, routinely produce much higher accuracy, but computational costs limit their application to small molecules. In this paper, we leverage machine learning to calculate coupled-cluster energies from DFT densities, reaching quantum chemical accuracy (errors below 1 kcal ⋅ mol-1) on test data. Moreover, density-based Δ-learning (learning only the correction to a standard DFT calculation, termed Δ-DFT ) significantly reduces the amount of training data required, particularly when molecular symmetries are included. The robustness of Δ-DFT is highlighted by correcting "on the fly" DFT-based molecular dynamics (MD) simulations of resorcinol (C6H4(OH)2) to obtain MD trajectories with coupled-cluster accuracy. We conclude, therefore, that Δ-DFT facilitates running gas-phase MD simulations with quantum chemical accuracy, even for strained geometries and conformer changes where standard DFT fails.