Intermolecular potentials of the methane dimer calculated with Møller-Plesset perturbation theory and density functional theory

Arvin Huang-Te Li, Sheng D Chao
Journal of Chemical Physics 2006 September 7, 125 (9): 094312
We have calculated the intermolecular interaction potentials of the methane dimer at the minimum-energy D(3d) conformation using the Hartree-Fock (HF) self-consistent theory, the correlation-corrected second-order Møller-Plesset (MP2) perturbation theory, and the density functional theory (DFT) with the Perdew-Wang (PW91) functional as the exchange or the correlation part. The HF calculations yield unbound potentials largely due to the exchange-repulsion interaction. In the MP2 calculations, the basis set effects on the repulsion exponent, the equilibrium bond length, the binding energy, and the asymptotic behavior of the calculated intermolecular potentials have been thoroughly studied. We have employed basis sets from the Slater-type orbitals fitted with Gaussian functions (STO-nG) (n=3-6) [Quantum Theory of Molecular and Solids: The Self-Consistent Field for Molecular and Solids (McGraw-Hill, New York, 1974), Vol. 4], Pople's medium size basis sets of Krishnan et al. [J. Chem. Phys. 72, 650 (1980)] [up to 6-311++G(3df,3pd)] to Dunning's correlation consistent basis sets [J. Chem. Phys. 90, 1007 (1989)] (cc-pVXZ and aug-cc-pVXZ) (X=D, T, and Q). With increasing basis size, the repulsion exponent and the equilibrium bond length converge at the 6-31G** basis set and the 6-311++G(2d,2p) basis set, respectively, while a large basis set (aug-cc-pVTZ) is required to converge the binding energy at a chemical accuracy (approximately 0.01 kcal/mol). Up to the largest basis set used, the asymptotic dispersion coefficient has not converged to the destined C6 value from molecular polarizability calculations. The slow convergence could indicate the inefficacy of using the MP2 calculations with Gaussian-type functions to model the asymptotic behavior. Both the basis set superposition error (BSSE) corrected and uncorrected results are presented to emphasize the importance of including such corrections. Only the BSSE corrected results systematically converge to the destined potential curve with increasing basis size. The DFT calculations generate a wide range of interaction patterns, from purely unbound to strongly bound, underestimating or overestimating the binding energy. The binding energy calculated using the PW91PW91 functional and the equilibrium bond length calculated using the PW91VP86 functional are close to the MP2 results at the basis set limit.

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