Basis set convergence of the coupled-cluster correction, δ(MP2)(CCSD(T)): best practices for benchmarking non-covalent interactions and the attendant revision of the S22, NBC10, HBC6, and HSG databases

Michael S Marshall, Lori A Burns, C David Sherrill
Journal of Chemical Physics 2011 November 21, 135 (19): 194102
In benchmark-quality studies of non-covalent interactions, it is common to estimate interaction energies at the complete basis set (CBS) coupled-cluster through perturbative triples [CCSD(T)] level of theory by adding to CBS second-order perturbation theory (MP2) a "coupled-cluster correction," δ(MP2)(CCSD(T)), evaluated in a modest basis set. This work illustrates that commonly used basis sets such as 6-31G*(0.25) can yield large, even wrongly signed, errors for δ(MP2)(CCSD(T)) that vary significantly by binding motif. Double-ζ basis sets show more reliable results when used with explicitly correlated methods to form a δ(MP2-F12)(CCSD(T(*))-F12) correction, yielding a mean absolute deviation of 0.11 kcal mol(-1) for the S22 test set. Examining the coupled-cluster correction for basis sets up to sextuple-ζ in quality reveals that δ(MP2)(CCSD(T)) converges monotonically only beyond a turning point at triple-ζ or quadruple-ζ quality. In consequence, CBS extrapolation of δ(MP2)(CCSD(T)) corrections before the turning point, generally CBS (aug-cc-pVDZ,aug-cc-pVTZ), are found to be unreliable and often inferior to aug-cc-pVTZ alone, especially for hydrogen-bonding systems. Using the findings of this paper, we revise some recent benchmarks for non-covalent interactions, namely the S22, NBC10, HBC6, and HSG test sets. The maximum differences in the revised benchmarks are 0.080, 0.060, 0.257, and 0.102 kcal mol(-1), respectively.

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