Optimizing conical intersections by spin-flip density functional theory: application to ethylene.

Department of Chemistry, Iowa State University, Ames, Iowa 50011, USA
The Journal of Physical Chemistry A (Impact Factor: 2.77). 11/2009; 113(46):12749-53. DOI: 10.1021/jp908032x
Source: PubMed

ABSTRACT Conical intersections (CIs) of ethylene have been successfully determined using spin-flip density functional theory (SFDFT) combined with a penalty-constrained optimization method. We present in detail three structures, twisted-pyramidalized, hydrogen-migrated, and ethylidene CIs. In contrast to the linear response time-dependent density functional theory, which predicts a purely twisted geometry without pyramidalization as the S(1) global minimum, SFDFT gives a pyramidalized structure. Therefore, this is the first correct optimization of CI points of twisted ethylene by the DFT method. The calculated energies and geometries are in good agreement with those obtained by the multireference configuration interaction (MR-CI) method and the multistate formulation of second-order multireference perturbation theory (MS-CASPT2).

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    ABSTRACT: Time-dependent density functional theory (TDDFT) holds great promise for studying photochemistry because of its affordable cost for large systems and for repeated calculations as required for direct dynamics. The chief obstacle is uncertain accuracy. There have been many validation studies, but there are also many formulations, and there have been few studies where several formulations were applied systematically to the same problems. Another issue, when TDDFT is applied with only a single exchange-correlation functional, is that errors in the functional may mask successes or failures of the formulation. Here, to try to sort out some of the issues, we apply eight formulations of adiabatic TDDFT to the first valence excitations of ten molecules with 18 density functionals of diverse types. The formulations examined are linear response from the ground state (LR-TDDFT), linear response from the ground state with the Tamm-Dancoff approximation (TDDFT-TDA), the original collinear spin-flip approximation with the Tamm-Dancoff (TD) approximation (SF1-TDDFT-TDA), the original noncollinear spin-flip approximation with the TDA approximation (SF1-NC-TDDFT-TDA), combined self-consistent-field (SCF) and collinear spin-flip calculations in the original spin-projected form (SF2-TDDFT-TDA) or non-spin-projected (NSF2-TDDFT-TDA), and combined SCF and noncollinear spin-flip calculations (SF2-NC-TDDFT-TDA and NSF2-NC-TDDFT-TDA). Comparing LR-TDDFT to TDDFT-TDA, we observed that the excitation energy is raised by the TDA; this brings the excitation energies underestimated by full linear response closer to experiment, but sometimes it makes the results worse. For ethylene and butadiene, the excitation energies are underestimated by LR-TDDFT, and the error becomes smaller making the TDA. Neither SF1-TDDFT-TDA nor SF2-TDDFT-TDA provides a lower mean unsigned error than LR-TDDFT or TDDFT-TDA. The comparison between collinear and noncollinear kernels shows that the noncollinear kernel drastically reduces the spin contamination in the systems considered here, and it makes the results more accurate than collinear spin-flip TDDFT for functionals with a low percentage of Hartree-Fock exchange and sometimes for functionals with a higher percentage of Hartree-Fock exchange, but it yields less accurate results than ground-state TDDFT.
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