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ATOMIC‑2 Protocol for Thermochemistry

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posted on 2022-06-03, 21:29 authored by Dirk Bakowies
ATOMIC is a midlevel thermochemistry protocol that uses Pople’s concept of bond separation reactions (BSRs) as a theoretical framework to reduce computational demands in the evaluation of atomization energies and enthalpies of formation. Various composite models are available that approximate bond separation energies at the complete-basis-set limit of all-electron CCSD­(T), each balancing computational cost with achievable accuracy. Evaluated energies are then combined with very high-level, precomputed atomization energies of all auxiliary molecules appearing in the BSR to obtain the atomization energy of the molecule under study. ATOMIC-2 is a new version of the protocol that retains the overall concept and all previously defined composite models but improves on ATOMIC-1 in various other ways: Geometry optimization and zero-point-energy evaluation are performed at the density functional level (PBE0-D3/6-311G­(d)), which shows significant computational savings and better accuracy than the previously employed RI-MP2/cc-pVTZ. The BSR framework is improved, using more accurate complete-basis-set (CBS) extrapolations toward the Full CI limit for the atomization energies of all auxiliary molecules. Finally, and most importantly, an error and uncertainty model termed ATOMIC-2um is added that estimates average bias and uncertainty for each of the atomization energy contributions that arise from the simplified treatment of some contributions to bond separation energies (CCSD­(T)) and the neglect of others (such as higher order, scalar relativistic, or diagonal Born–Oppenheimer corrections) or from residual error in the energies of auxiliary molecules. Large and diverse benchmarks including up to 1179 molecules are used to evaluate necessary reference data and to correlate the observed error for each of the contributions with appropriate proxies that are available without additional quantum-chemical calculations for a particular molecule and represent its size and type. The implementation of ATOMIC-2 considers neutral, closed-shell molecules containing H, C, N, O, and F atoms; compared to ATOMIC-1, the framework has been extended to cover a few challenging but rare bond topologies. In comparison to highly accurate reference data for 184 molecules taken from the ATcT database (V. 1.122r), regular ATOMIC-2 shows noticeable underbinding, but the bias-corrected protocol ATOMIC-2um is found to be more accurate than either ATOMIC-1 or standard Gaussian-4 theory, and the uncertainty model is consistent with statistics of actually observed errors. Problems arising from ambiguous or challenging Lewis-valence structures defining BSRs are discussed, and computational efficiency is demonstrated. Computer code is made available to perform ATOMIC-2um analyses.