In the quest for a cost-effective level of theory able to describe a large portion of the ground and excited potential energy surfaces of large chromophores, promising approaches are rooted in various approximations to the exact density functional theory (DFT). In the present work, we investigate how generalized Kohn-Sham DFT (GKS-DFT), time-dependent DFT (TDDFT), and spin-restricted ensemble-DFT (REKS) methods perform along three important paths characterizing a model retinal chromophore (the penta-2,4-dieniminium cation) in a region of near-degeneracy (close to a conical intersection) with respect to reference high-level multiconfigurational wave function methods. If GKS-DFT correctly describes the closed-shell charge transfer state, only TDDFT and REKS approaches give access to the open-shell diradical, one which sometimes corresponds to the electronic ground state. It is demonstrated that the main drawback of the usual DFT-based methods lies in the absence of interactions between the charge transfer and the diradicaloid configurations. Hence, we test a new computational scheme based on the State-averaged REKS (SA-REKS) approach, which explicitly includes these interactions into account. The State-Interaction SA-REKS (SI-SA-REKS) method significantly improves on the REKS and the SA-REKS results for the target system. The similarities and differences between DFT and wave function-based approaches are analyzed according to (1) the active space dimensions of the wave function-based methods and (2) the relative electronegativities of the allyl and protonated Schiff base moieties.
Huix-Rotllant, Miquel; Filatov, Michael; Gozem, Samer; Schapiro, Igor; Olivucci, Massimo; and Ferré, Nicolas, "Assessment Of Density Functional Theory For Describing The Correlation Effects On The Ground And Excited State Potential Energy Surfaces Of A Retinal Chromophore Model" (2013). Chemistry Faculty Publications. 179.
Journal Of Chemical Theory And Computation