Density-functional approaches to noncovalent interactions: A comparison of dispersion corrections (DFT-D), exchange-hole dipole moment (XDM) theory, and specialized functionals

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Burns, Lori A.
Vazquez-Mayagoitia, Alvaro
Sumpter, Bobby G.
Sherrill, C. David
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A systematic study of techniques for treating noncovalent interactions within the computationally efficient density functional theory (DFT) framework is presented through comparison to benchmarkquality evaluations of binding strength compiled for molecular complexes of diverse size and nature. In particular, the efficacy of functionals deliberately crafted to encompass long-range forces, a posteriori DFT+dispersion corrections (DFT-D2 and DFT-D3), and exchange-hole dipole moment (XDM) theory is assessed against a large collection (469 energy points) of reference interaction energies at the CCSD(T) level of theory extrapolated to the estimated complete basis set limit. The established S22 [revised in J. Chem. Phys. 132, 144104 (2010)] and JSCH test sets of minimum-energy structures, as well as collections of dispersion-bound (NBC10) and hydrogenbonded (HBC6) dissociation curves and a pairwise decomposition of a protein–ligand reaction site (HSG), comprise the chemical systems for this work. From evaluations of accuracy, consistency, and efficiency for PBE-D, BP86-D, B97-D, PBE0-D, B3LYP-D, B970-D, M05-2X,M06-2X, ωB97X-D, B2PLYP-D, XYG3, and B3LYP-XDM methodologies, it is concluded that distinct, often contrasting, groups of these elicit the best performance within the accessible double-ζ or robust triple-ζ basis set regimes and among hydrogen-bonded or dispersion-dominated complexes. For overall results, M05-2X, B97-D3, and B970-D2 yield superior values in conjunction with aug-cc-pVDZ, for a mean absolute deviation of 0.41 – 0.49 kcal/mol, and B3LYP-D3, B97-D3, ωB97X-D, and B2PLYP-D3 dominate with aug-cc-pVTZ, affording, together with XYG3/6-311+G(3df,2p), a mean absolute deviation of 0.33 – 0.38 kcal/mol.
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