Assessing cathode property prediction: Via exchange-correlation functionals with and without long-range dispersion corrections

Olivia Y. Long, Gopalakrishnan Sai Gautam, Emily A. Carter

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

11 Scopus citations


We benchmark calculated interlayer spacings, average topotactic voltages, thermodynamic stabilities, and band gaps in layered lithium transition-metal oxides (TMOs) and their de-lithiated counterparts, which are used in lithium-ion batteries as positive electrode materials, against available experimental data. Specifically, we examine the accuracy of properties calculated within density functional theory (DFT) using eight different treatments of electron exchange-correlation: the strongly constrained and appropriately normed (SCAN) and Perdew-Burke-Ernzerhof (PBE) density functionals, Hubbard-U-corrected SCAN and PBE (i.e., SCAN+U and PBE+U), and SCAN(+U) and PBE(+U) with added long-range dispersion (D) interactions (i.e., DFT(+U)+D). van der Waals interactions are included respectively via the revised Vydrov-Van Voorhis (rVV10) for SCAN(+U) and the DFT-D3 for PBE(+U). We find that SCAN-based functionals predict larger voltages due to an underestimation of stability of the MO2 systems, while also predicting smaller interlayer spacings compared to their PBE-based counterparts. Furthermore, adding dispersion corrections to PBE has a greater effect on voltage predictions and interlayer spacings than with SCAN, indicating that DFT-SCAN-despite being a ground-state theory-fortuitously captures some short and medium-range dispersion interactions better than PBE. While SCAN-based and PBE-based functionals yield qualitatively similar band gap predictions, there is no significant quantitative improvement of SCAN-based functionals over the corresponding PBE-based versions. Finally, we expect SCAN-based functionals to yield more accurate property predictions than the respective PBE-based functionals for most TMOs, given SCAN's stronger theoretical underpinning and better predictions of systematic trends in interlayer spacings, intercalation voltages, and band gaps obtained in this work.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)24726-24737
Number of pages12
JournalPhysical Chemistry Chemical Physics
Issue number43
StatePublished - Nov 21 2021

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • General Physics and Astronomy
  • Physical and Theoretical Chemistry


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