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Balancing Density Functional Theory Interaction Energies in Charged Dimers Precursors to Organic Semiconductors

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journal contribution
posted on 07.05.2020, 09:04 by Alberto Fabrizio, Riccardo Petraglia, Clemence Corminboeuf
The pursuit of an increasingly accurate description of intermolecular interactions within the framework of Kohn–Sham density functional theory (KS-DFT) has motivated the construction of numerous benchmark databases over the past two decades. By far, the largest efforts have been spent on closed-shell, neutral dimers for which today the interaction energies and geometries can be accurately reproduced by various combinations of dispersion-corrected density functional approximations (DFAs). In sharp contrast, charged, open-shell dimers remain a challenge as illustrated by the analysis of the OREL26rad benchmark set, composed of π-dimer radical cations. Aside from the methodological aspect, achieving a proper description of radical cationic complexes is appealing due to their role as models for charge carriers in organic semiconductors. In the interest of providing an assessment of more realistic dimer systems, we construct a data set of large radical cationic dimers (CryOrel9) and jointly train the 19 parameters of a dispersion corrected, range-separated hybrid density functional (ωB97X-dDsC). The main objective of ωB97X-dDsC is to provide the maximum balance between the treatment of long-range London dispersion and reduction of the delocalization error, which are essential conditions to obtain accurate energy profiles and binding energies of charged, open-shell dimers. The performance of ωB97X-dDsC, its parent ωB97X functional series, and a selection of wave function-based methods is reported for the CryOrel9 data set. The robustness of the reoptimized variant (ωB97X-dDsC) is also tested on other GMTKN30 data sets.