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[en] Since its formal inception in 1964–1965, Kohn-Sham density-functional theory (KS-DFT) has become the most popular electronic structure method in computational physics and chemistry. Its popularity stems from its beautifully simple conceptual framework and computational elegance. The rise of KS-DFT in chemical physics began in earnest in the mid 1980s, when crucial developments in its exchange-correlation term gave the theory predictive power competitive with well-developed wave-function methods. Today KS-DFT finds itself under increasing pressure to deliver higher and higher accuracy and to adapt to ever more challenging problems. If we are not mindful, however, these pressures may submerge the theory in the wave-function sea. KS-DFT might be lost. I am hopeful the Kohn-Sham philosophical, theoretical, and computational framework can be preserved. This Perspective outlines the history, basic concepts, and present status of KS-DFT in chemical physics, and offers suggestions for its future development
[en] In this study, we implement and examine three excited state solvent models in time-dependent self-consistent field methods using a consistent formalism which unambiguously shows their relationship. These are the linear response, state specific, and vertical excitation solvent models. Their effects on energies calculated with the equivalent of COSMO/CIS/AM1 are given for a set of test molecules with varying excited state charge transfer character. The resulting solvent effects are explained qualitatively using a dipole approximation. It is shown that the fundamental differences between these solvent models are reflected by the character of the calculated excitations
[en] In studying large molecular systems, insights can better be extracted by selecting a limited number of physical quantities for analysis rather than treating every atomic coordinate in detail. Some information may, however, be lost by projecting the total system onto a small number of coordinates. For such problems, the generalized Langevin equation (GLE) is shown to provide a useful framework to examine the interaction between the observed variables and their environment. Starting with the GLE obtained from the time series of the observed quantity, we perform a transformation to introduce a set of variables that describe dynamical modes existing in the environment. The introduced variables are shown to effectively recover the essential information of the total system that appeared to be lost by the projection.
[en] Lead (Pb) was the last element of the group IVA whose electron affinity had a low accuracy around 10 meV before the present work. This was due to the generic threshold photodetachment measurement that cannot extent well below 0.5 eV due to the light source limitation. In the present work, the electron affinity of Pb was determined to be 2877.33(13) cm−1 or 0.356 743(16) eV for the isotope m = 208. The accuracy was improved by a factor of 500 with respect to the previous laser photodetachment electron spectroscopy. Moreover, remarkable isotope shifts of the binding energy of Pb− 6p3 4S3/2 − Pb 6p2 3P2 were observed for m = 206, 207, and 208.
[en] For several decades, heterogeneous catalytic processes have been improved through utilizing supercritical fluids (SCFs) as solvents. While numerous experimental studies have been established across a range of chemistries, such as oxidation, pyrolysis, amination, and Fischer-Tropsch synthesis, still there is little fundamental, molecular-level information regarding the role of the SCF on elementary heterogeneous catalytic steps. In this study, the influence of hexane solvent on the adsorption of carbon monoxide on Co(0001), as the first step in the reaction mechanism of many processes involving syngas conversion, is probed. Simulations are performed at various bulk hexane densities, ranging from ideal gas conditions (no SCF hexane) to various near- and super-critical hexane densities. For this purpose, both density functional theory and molecular dynamics simulations are employed to determine the adsorption energy and free energy change during CO chemisorption. Potential of mean force calculations, utilizing umbrella sampling and the weighted histogram analysis method, provide the first commentary on SCF solvent effects on the energetic aspects of the chemisorption process. Simulation results indicate an enhanced stability of CO adsorption on the catalyst surface in the presence of supercritical hexane within the reduced pressure range of 1.0–1.5 at a constant temperature of 523 K. Furthermore, it is shown that the maximum stability of CO in the adsorbed state as a function of supercritical hexane density at 523 K nearly coincides with the maximum isothermal compressibility of bulk hexane at this temperature.
[en] Piecewise linearity of the energy with respect to fractional electron removal or addition is a requirement of an electronic structure method that necessitates the presence of a derivative discontinuity at integer electron occupation. Semi-local exchange-correlation (xc) approximations within density functional theory (DFT) fail to reproduce this behavior, giving rise to deviations from linearity with a convex global curvature that is evidence of many-electron, self-interaction error and electron delocalization. Popular functional tuning strategies focus on reproducing piecewise linearity, especially to improve predictions of optical properties. In a divergent approach, Hubbard U-augmented DFT (i.e., DFT+U) treats self-interaction errors by reducing the local curvature of the energy with respect to electron removal or addition from one localized subshell to the surrounding system. Although it has been suggested that DFT+U should simultaneously alleviate global and local curvature in the atomic limit, no detailed study on real systems has been carried out to probe the validity of this statement. In this work, we show when DFT+U should minimize deviations from linearity and demonstrate that a “+U” correction will never worsen the deviation from linearity of the underlying xc approximation. However, we explain varying degrees of efficiency of the approach over 27 octahedral transition metal complexes with respect to transition metal (Sc–Cu) and ligand strength (CO, NH3, and H2O) and investigate select pathological cases where the delocalization error is invisible to DFT+U within an atomic projection framework. Finally, we demonstrate that the global and local curvatures represent different quantities that show opposing behavior with increasing ligand field strength, and we identify where these two may still coincide.
[en] Single-wall carbon nanotubes (SWCNTs) are a good model system that provides atomically smooth nanocavities. It has been reported that water-SWCNTs exhibit hydrophobicity depending on the temperature T and the SWCNT diameter D. SWCNTs adsorb water molecules spontaneously in their cylindrical pores around room temperature, whereas they exhibit a hydrophilic-hydrophobic transition or wet-dry transition (WDT) at a critical temperature Twd ≈ 220-230 K and above a critical diameter Dc ≈ 1.4-1.6 nm. However, details of the WDT phenomenon and its mechanism remain unknown. Here, we report a systematic experimental study involving X-ray diffraction, optical microscopy, and differential scanning calorimetry. It is found that water molecules inside thick SWCNTs (D > Dc) evaporate and condense into ice Ih outside the SWCNTs at Twd upon cooling, and the ice Ih evaporates and condenses inside the SWCNTs upon heating. On the other hand, residual water trapped inside the SWCNTs below Twd freezes. Molecular dynamics simulations indicate that upon lowering T, the hydrophobicity of thick SWCNTs increases without any structural transition, while the water inside thin SWCNTs (D < Dc) exhibits a structural transition, forming an ordered ice. This ice has a well-developed hydrogen bonding network adapting to the cylindrical pores of the SWCNTs. Thus, the unusual diameter dependence of the WDT is attributed to the adaptability of the structure of water to the pore dimension and shape.
[en] In modern physics and chemistry concerned with many-body systems, one of the mainstays is identical-particle-permutation symmetry. In particular, both the intra-molecular dynamics of a single molecule and the inter-molecular dynamics associated, for example, with reactive molecular collisions are strongly affected by selection rules originating in nuclear-permutation symmetry operations being applied to the total internal wavefunctions, including nuclear spin, of the molecules involved. We propose here a general tool to determine coherently the permutation symmetry and the rotational symmetry (associated with the group of arbitrary rotations of the entire molecule in space) of molecular wavefunctions, in particular the nuclear-spin functions. Thus far, these two symmetries were believed to be mutually independent and it has even been argued that under certain circumstances, it is impossible to establish a one-to-one correspondence between them. However, using the Schur-Weyl duality theorem we show that the two types of symmetry are inherently coupled. In addition, we use the ingenious representation-theory technique of Young tableaus to represent the molecular nuclear-spin degrees of freedom in terms of well-defined mathematical objects. This simplifies the symmetry classification of the nuclear wavefunction even for large molecules. Also, the application to reactive collisions is very straightforward and provides a much simplified approach to obtaining selection rules.
[en] The Full Configuration Interaction Quantum Monte Carlo (FCIQMC) method has proved able to provide near-exact solutions to the electronic Schrödinger equation within a finite orbital basis set, without relying on an expansion about a reference state. However, a drawback to the approach is that being based on an expansion of Slater determinants, the FCIQMC method suffers from a basis set incompleteness error that decays very slowly with the size of the employed single particle basis. The FCIQMC results obtained in a small basis set can be improved significantly with explicitly correlated techniques. Here, we present a study that assesses and compares two contrasting “universal” explicitly correlated approaches that fit into the FCIQMC framework: the R12 method of Kong and Valeev [J. Chem. Phys. 135, 214105 (2011)] and the explicitly correlated canonical transcorrelation approach of Yanai and Shiozaki [J. Chem. Phys. 136, 084107 (2012)]. The former is an a posteriori internally contracted perturbative approach, while the latter transforms the Hamiltonian prior to the FCIQMC simulation. These comparisons are made across the 55 molecules of the G1 standard set. We found that both methods consistently reduce the basis set incompleteness, for accurate atomization energies in small basis sets, reducing the error from 28 mEh to 3-4 mEh. While many of the conclusions hold in general for any combination of multireference approaches with these methodologies, we also consider FCIQMC-specific advantages of each approach.
[en] The analytic second derivative of the energy is developed for the fragment molecular orbital (FMO) method combined with density-functional tight-binding (DFTB), enabling simulations of infrared and Raman spectra of large molecular systems. The accuracy of the method is established in comparison to full DFTB without fragmentation for a set of representative systems. The performance of the FMO-DFTB Hessian is discussed for molecular systems containing up to 10 041 atoms. The method is applied to the study of the binding of α-cyclodextrin to polyethylene glycol, and the calculated IR spectrum of an epoxy amine oligomer reproduces experiment reasonably well.