*J Chem Phys ; 151(16): 164702, 2019 Oct 28.*

##### RESUMO

Due to their current and future technological applications, including realization of water filters and desalination membranes, water adsorption on graphitic sp2-bonded carbon is of overwhelming interest. However, these systems are notoriously challenging to model, even for electronic structure methods such as density functional theory (DFT), because of the crucial role played by London dispersion forces and noncovalent interactions, in general. Recent efforts have established reference quality interactions of several carbon nanostructures interacting with water. Here, we compile a new benchmark set (dubbed WaC18), which includes a single water molecule interacting with a broad range of carbon structures and various bulk (3D) and two-dimensional (2D) ice polymorphs. The performance of 28 approaches, including semilocal exchange-correlation functionals, nonlocal (Fock) exchange contributions, and long-range van der Waals (vdW) treatments, is tested by computing the deviations from the reference interaction energies. The calculated mean absolute deviations on the WaC18 set depend crucially on the DFT approach, ranging from 135 meV for local density approximation (LDA) to 12 meV for PBE0-D4. We find that modern vdW corrections to DFT significantly improve over their precursors. Within the 28 tested approaches, we identify the best performing within the functional classes of generalized gradient approximated (GGA), meta-GGA, vdW-DF, and hybrid DF, which are BLYP-D4, TPSS-D4, rev-vdW-DF2, and PBE0-D4, respectively.

*J Chem Phys ; 151(13): 134105, 2019 Oct 07.*

##### RESUMO

Fixed node diffusion quantum Monte Carlo (FN-DMC) is an increasingly used computational approach for investigating the electronic structure of molecules, solids, and surfaces with controllable accuracy. It stands out among equally accurate electronic structure approaches for its favorable cubic scaling with system size, which often makes FN-DMC the only computationally affordable high-quality method in large condensed phase systems with more than 100 atoms. In such systems, FN-DMC deploys pseudopotentials (PPs) to substantially improve efficiency. In order to deal with nonlocal terms of PPs, the FN-DMC algorithm must use an additional approximation, leading to the so-called localization error. However, the two available approximations, the locality approximation (LA) and the T-move approximation (TM), have certain disadvantages and can make DMC calculations difficult to reproduce. Here, we introduce a third approach, called the determinant localization approximation (DLA). DLA eliminates reproducibility issues and systematically provides good quality results and stable simulations that are slightly more efficient than LA and TM. When calculating energy differences-such as interaction and ionization energies-DLA is also more accurate than the LA and TM approaches. We believe that DLA paves the way to the automation of FN-DMC and its much easier application in large systems.

*J Phys Chem Lett ; 10(3): 358-368, 2019 Feb 07.*

##### RESUMO

Wet carbon interfaces are ubiquitous in the natural world and exhibit anomalous properties, which could be exploited by emerging technologies. However, progress is limited by lack of understanding at the molecular level. Remarkably, even for the most fundamental system (a single water molecule interacting with graphene), there is no consensus on the nature of the interaction. We tackle this by performing an extensive set of complementary state-of-the-art computer simulations on some of the world's largest supercomputers. From this effort a consensus on the water-graphene interaction strength has been obtained. Our results have significant impact for the physical understanding, as they indicate that the interaction is weaker than predicted previously. They also pave the way for more accurate and reliable studies of liquid water at carbon interfaces.

*Chem Commun (Camb) ; 54(70): 9793-9796, 2018 Aug 28.*

##### RESUMO

Black phosphorus is a bulk solid allotrope of elemental phosphorus and can be seen as an infinite stack of phosphorene sheets. It is interesting from a technological point of view as well as from an electronic structure perspective due to the importance of electron correlation effects. In a recent paper [M. Schütz, L. Maschio, A. J. Karttunen and D. Usvyat, J. Phys. Chem. Lett., 2017, 8, 1290-1294] a highly accurate exfoliation energy has been computed. Building upon these results we carefully benchmark various dispersion-corrected density functional approximations. The choice of the range-separating function that suppresses London dispersion at short interatomic distances apparently has a substantial influence on the results. Having chosen the suitable functional, we have computed the thermal expansion coefficients of black phosphorous via a quasi-harmonic approximation. The computed coefficients manifest a strong anisotropy between the two in-plane directions. Our calculations, however, do not support the existence of negative thermal expansion in black phosphorus, as reported in some theoretical studies.

*Faraday Discuss ; 211(0): 275-296, 2018 10 26.*

##### RESUMO

Successful methodologies for theoretical crystal structure prediction (CSP) on flexible pharmaceutical-like organic molecules explore the lattice energy surface to find a set of plausible crystal structures. The initial search stages of CSP studies use relatively simple lattice energy approximations as hundreds of thousands of minima have to be considered. These generated crystal structures often have poor molecular geometries, as well as inaccurate lattice energy rankings, and performing reasonably accurate but computationally affordable optimisations of the crystal structures generated in a search would be highly desirable. Here, we seek to explore whether semi-empirical quantum-mechanical methods can perform this task. We employed the dispersion-corrected tight-binding Hamiltonian (DFTB3-D3) to relax all the inter- and intra-molecular degrees of freedom of several thousands of generated crystal structures of five pharmaceutical-like molecules, saving a large amount of computational effort compared to earlier studies. The computational cost scales better with molecular size and flexibility than other CSP methods, suggesting that it could be extended to even larger and more flexible molecules. On average, this optimisation improved the average reproduction of the eight experimental crystal structures (RMSD15) and experimental conformers (RMSD1) by 4% and 23%, respectively. The intermolecular interactions were then further optimised using distributed multipoles, derived from the molecular wave-functions, to accurately describe the electrostatic components of the intermolecular energies. In all cases, the experimental crystal structures are close to the top of the lattice energy ranking. Phonon calculations on some of the lowest energy structures were also performed with DFTB3-D3 methods to calculate the vibrational component of the Helmholtz free energy, providing further insights into the solid-state behaviour of the target molecules. We conclude that DFTB3-D3 is a cost-effective method for optimising flexible molecules, bridging the gap between the approximate methods used in CSP searches for generating crystal structures and more accurate methods required in the final energy ranking.

*Chem Sci ; 9(21): 4859-4865, 2018 Jun 07.*

##### RESUMO

In solution the PCy3/B(C6F5)3 pair is rapidly deactivated by nucleophilic aromatic substitution. In the solid state deactivation is effectively suppressed and the active frustrated phosphane/borane Lewis pair splits dihydrogen or adds to sulfur dioxide. A variety of phosphane/B(C6F5)3 pairs have been used to carry out active FLP reactions in the solid state. The reactions were analyzed by DFT calculations and by solid state NMR spectroscopy. The solid state dihydrogen splitting reaction was also carried out under near to ambient conditions with suspensions of the non-quenched phosphane/borane mixtures in the fluorous liquid perfluoromethylcyclohexane.

*J Phys Condens Matter ; 30(21): 213001, 2018 May 31.*

##### RESUMO

Kohn-Sham density functional theory (DFT) is routinely used for the fast electronic structure computation of large systems and will most likely continue to be the method of choice for the generation of reliable geometries in the foreseeable future. Here, we present a hierarchy of simplified DFT methods designed for consistent structures and non-covalent interactions of large systems with particular focus on molecular crystals. The covered methods are a minimal basis set Hartree-Fock (HF-3c), a small basis set screened exchange hybrid functional (HSE-3c), and a generalized gradient approximated functional evaluated in a medium-sized basis set (B97-3c), all augmented with semi-classical correction potentials. We give an overview on the methods design, a comprehensive evaluation on established benchmark sets for geometries and lattice energies of molecular crystals, and highlight some realistic applications on large organic crystals with several hundreds of atoms in the primitive unit cell.

*J Chem Phys ; 148(6): 064104, 2018 Feb 14.*

##### RESUMO

A revised version of the well-established B97-D density functional approximation with general applicability for chemical properties of large systems is proposed. Like B97-D, it is based on Becke's power-series ansatz from 1997 and is explicitly parametrized by including the standard D3 semi-classical dispersion correction. The orbitals are expanded in a modified valence triple-zeta Gaussian basis set, which is available for all elements up to Rn. Remaining basis set errors are mostly absorbed in the modified B97 parametrization, while an established atom-pairwise short-range potential is applied to correct for the systematically too long bonds of main group elements which are typical for most semi-local density functionals. The new composite scheme (termed B97-3c) completes the hierarchy of "low-cost" electronic structure methods, which are all mainly free of basis set superposition error and account for most interactions in a physically sound and asymptotically correct manner. B97-3c yields excellent molecular and condensed phase geometries, similar to most hybrid functionals evaluated in a larger basis set expansion. Results on the comprehensive GMTKN55 energy database demonstrate its good performance for main group thermochemistry, kinetics, and non-covalent interactions, when compared to functionals of the same class. This also transfers to metal-organic reactions, which is a major area of applicability for semi-local functionals. B97-3c can be routinely applied to hundreds of atoms on a single processor and we suggest it as a robust computational tool, in particular, for more strongly correlated systems where our previously published "3c" schemes might be problematic.

*Proc Natl Acad Sci U S A ; 115(8): 1724-1729, 2018 02 20.*

##### RESUMO

Computer simulation plays a central role in modern-day materials science. The utility of a given computational approach depends largely on the balance it provides between accuracy and computational cost. Molecular crystals are a class of materials of great technological importance which are challenging for even the most sophisticated ab initio electronic structure theories to accurately describe. This is partly because they are held together by a balance of weak intermolecular forces but also because the primitive cells of molecular crystals are often substantially larger than those of atomic solids. Here, we demonstrate that diffusion quantum Monte Carlo (DMC) delivers subchemical accuracy for a diverse set of molecular crystals at a surprisingly moderate computational cost. As such, we anticipate that DMC can play an important role in understanding and predicting the properties of a large number of molecular crystals, including those built from relatively large molecules which are far beyond reach of other high-accuracy methods.

*J Phys Chem Lett ; 9(2): 399-405, 2018 Jan 18.*

##### RESUMO

Accurate prediction of structure and stability of molecular crystals is crucial in materials science and requires reliable modeling of long-range dispersion interactions. Semiempirical electronic structure methods are computationally more efficient than their ab initio counterparts, allowing structure sampling with significant speedups. We combine the Tkatchenko-Scheffler van der Waals method (TS) and the many-body dispersion method (MBD) with third-order density functional tight-binding (DFTB3) via a charge population-based method. We find an overall good performance for the X23 benchmark database of molecular crystals, despite an underestimation of crystal volume that can be traced to the DFTB parametrization. We achieve accurate lattice energy predictions with DFT+MBD energetics on top of vdW-inclusive DFTB3 structures, resulting in a speedup of up to 3000 times compared with a full DFT treatment. This suggests that vdW-inclusive DFTB3 can serve as a viable structural prescreening tool in crystal structure prediction.

*J Chem Phys ; 147(4): 044710, 2017 Jul 28.*

##### RESUMO

Molecular adsorption on surfaces plays an important part in catalysis, corrosion, desalination, and various other processes that are relevant to industry and in nature. As a complement to experiments, accurate adsorption energies can be obtained using various sophisticated electronic structure methods that can now be applied to periodic systems. The adsorption energy of water on boron nitride substrates, going from zero to 2-dimensional periodicity, is particularly interesting as it calls for an accurate treatment of polarizable electrostatics and dispersion interactions, as well as posing a practical challenge to experiments and electronic structure methods. Here, we present reference adsorption energies, static polarizabilities, and dynamic polarizabilities, for water on BN substrates of varying size and dimension. Adsorption energies are computed with coupled cluster theory, fixed-node quantum Monte Carlo (FNQMC), the random phase approximation, and second order Møller-Plesset theory. These wavefunction based correlated methods are found to agree in molecular as well as periodic systems. The best estimate of the water/h-BN adsorption energy is -107±7 meV from FNQMC. In addition, the water adsorption energy on the BN substrates could be expected to grow monotonically with the size of the substrate due to increased dispersion interactions, but interestingly, this is not the case here. This peculiar finding is explained using the static polarizabilities and molecular dispersion coefficients of the systems, as computed from time-dependent density functional theory (DFT). Dynamic as well as static polarizabilities are found to be highly anisotropic in these systems. In addition, the many-body dispersion method in DFT emerges as a particularly useful estimation of finite size effects for other expensive, many-body wavefunction based methods.

*J Phys Chem Lett ; 8(17): 4319-4324, 2017 Sep 07.*

##### RESUMO

We report systematic temperature-dependent X-ray measurements on the most stable carbamazepine polymorph. This active pharmaceutical ingredient is used to demonstrate how the thermal expansion can probe certain intermolecular interactions resulting in anisotropic expansion behavior. We show that most structural features can be captured by electronic structure calculations at the quasi-harmonic approximation (QHA) provided a dispersion-corrected density functional based method is employed. The impact of thermal expansion on the phonon modes and hence free energy contributions is large enough to impact the relative stability of different polymorphs.

*Philos Trans A Math Phys Eng Sci ; 375(2101)2017 08 28.*

##### RESUMO

Recently, the concept of small molecule activation by frustrated Lewis pairs (FLPs) has been expanded to the solid state showing a variety of interesting reactivities. Therefore, there is a need to establish a computational protocol to investigate such systems theoretically. In the present study, we selected several FLPs and applied multiple levels of theory, ranging from a semi-empirical tight-binding Hamiltonian to dispersion corrected hybrid density functionals. Their performance is benchmarked for the computation of crystal geometries, thermostatistical contributions, and reaction energies. We show that the computationally efficient HF-3c method gives accurate crystal structures and is numerically stable and sufficiently fast for routine applications. This method also gives reliable values for the thermostatistical contributions to Gibbs free energies. The meta-generalized gradient approximated TPSS-D3 evaluated in a projector augmented plane wave basis set is able to produce sufficiently accurate reaction electronic energies. The established protocol is intended to support experimental studies and to predict new reactions in the emerging field of solid-state FLPs.This article is part of the themed issue 'Frustrated Lewis pair chemistry'.

*Acta Crystallogr B Struct Sci Cryst Eng Mater ; 72(Pt 4): 439-59, 2016 08 01.*

##### RESUMO

The sixth blind test of organic crystal structure prediction (CSP) methods has been held, with five target systems: a small nearly rigid molecule, a polymorphic former drug candidate, a chloride salt hydrate, a co-crystal and a bulky flexible molecule. This blind test has seen substantial growth in the number of participants, with the broad range of prediction methods giving a unique insight into the state of the art in the field. Significant progress has been seen in treating flexible molecules, usage of hierarchical approaches to ranking structures, the application of density-functional approximations, and the establishment of new workflows and `best practices' for performing CSP calculations. All of the targets, apart from a single potentially disordered Z' = 2 polymorph of the drug candidate, were predicted by at least one submission. Despite many remaining challenges, it is clear that CSP methods are becoming more applicable to a wider range of real systems, including salts, hydrates and larger flexible molecules. The results also highlight the potential for CSP calculations to complement and augment experimental studies of organic solid forms.

*Acta Crystallogr B Struct Sci Cryst Eng Mater ; 72(Pt 4): 502-13, 2016 08 01.*

##### RESUMO

We analyze the energy landscape of the sixth crystal structure prediction blind test targets with various first principles and semi-empirical quantum chemical methodologies. A new benchmark set of 59 crystal structures (termed POLY59) for testing quantum chemical methods based on the blind test target crystals is presented. We focus on different means to include London dispersion interactions within the density functional theory (DFT) framework. We show the impact of pairwise dispersion corrections like the semi-empirical D2 scheme, the Tkatchenko-Scheffler (TS) method, and the density-dependent dispersion correction dDsC. Recent methodological progress includes higher-order contributions in both the many-body and multipole expansions. We use the D3 correction with Axilrod-Teller-Muto type three-body contribution, the TS based many-body dispersion (MBD), and the nonlocal van der Waals density functional (vdW-DF2). The density functionals with D3 and MBD correction provide an energy ranking of the blind test polymorphs in excellent agreement with the experimentally found structures. As a computationally less demanding method, we test our recently presented minimal basis Hartree-Fock method (HF-3c) and a density functional tight-binding Hamiltonian (DFTB). Considering the speed-up of three to four orders of magnitudes, the energy ranking provided by the low-cost methods is very reasonable. We compare the computed geometries with the corresponding X-ray data where TPSS-D3 performs best. The importance of zero-point vibrational energy and thermal effects on crystal densities is highlighted.

*J Chem Theory Comput ; 12(7): 3340-52, 2016 Jul 12.*

##### RESUMO

A comparative assessment of the accuracy of different quantum mechanical methods for evaluating the structure and the cohesive energy of molecular crystals is presented. In particular, we evaluate the performance of the semiempirical HF-3c method in comparison with the B3LYP-D* and the Local MP2 (LMP2) methods by means of a fully periodic approach. Three benchmark sets have been investigated: X23, G60, and the new K7; for a total of 82 molecular crystals. The original HF-3c method performs well but shows a tendency at overbinding molecular crystals, in particular for weakly bounded systems. For the X23 set, the mean absolute error for the cohesive energies computed with the HF-3c method is comparable to the LMP2 one. A refinement of the HF-3c has been attempted by tuning the dispersion term in the HF-3c energy. While the performance on cohesive energy prediction slightly worsens, optimized unit cell volumes are in excellent agreement with experiment. Overall, the B3LYP-D* method combined with a TZP basis set gives the best results. For cost-effective calculations on molecular crystals, we propose to compute cohesive energies at the B3LYP-D*/TZP level of theory on the dispersion-scaled HF-3c optimized geometries (i.e., B3LYP-D*/TZP//HF-3c(0.27) also dubbed as SP-B3LYP-D*). Besides, for further benchmarking on molecular crystals, we propose to combine the three test sets in a new one denoted as MC82.

*Phys Chem Chem Phys ; 18(23): 15519-23, 2016 Jun 21.*

##### RESUMO

We extend the recently introduced PBEh-3c global hybrid density functional [S. Grimme et al., J. Chem. Phys., 2015, 143, 054107] by a screened Fock exchange variant based on the Henderson-Janesko-Scuseria exchange hole model. While the excellent performance of the global hybrid is maintained for small covalently bound molecules, its performance for computed condensed phase mass densities is further improved. Most importantly, a speed up of 30 to 50% can be achieved and especially for small orbital energy gap cases, the method is numerically much more robust. The latter point is important for many applications, e.g., for metal-organic frameworks, organic semiconductors, or protein structures. This enables an accurate density functional based electronic structure calculation of a full DNA helix structure on a single core desktop computer which is presented as an example in addition to comprehensive benchmark results.