Potential Functional Embedding Theory at the Correlated Wave Function Level. 2. Error Sources and Performance Tests

Jin Cheng, Kuang Yu, Florian Libisch, Johannes M. Dieterich, Emily A. Carter

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

16 Scopus citations


Quantum mechanical embedding theories partition a complex system into multiple spatial regions that can use different electronic structure methods within each, to optimize trade-offs between accuracy and cost. The present work incorporates accurate but expensive correlated wave function (CW) methods for a subsystem containing the phenomenon or feature of greatest interest, while self-consistently capturing quantum effects of the surroundings using fast but less accurate density functional theory (DFT) approximations. We recently proposed two embedding methods [for a review, see: Acc. Chem. Res. 2014, 47, 2768 ]: density functional embedding theory (DFET) and potential functional embedding theory (PFET). DFET provides a fast but non-self-consistent density-based embedding scheme, whereas PFET offers a more rigorous theoretical framework to perform fully self-consistent, variational CW/DFT calculations [as defined in part 1, CW/DFT means subsystem 1(2) is treated with CW(DFT) methods]. When originally presented, PFET was only tested at the DFT/DFT level of theory as a proof of principle within a planewave (PW) basis. Part 1 of this two-part series demonstrated that PFET can be made to work well with mixed Gaussian type orbital (GTO)/PW bases, as long as optimized GTO bases and consistent electron-ion potentials are employed throughout. Here in part 2 we conduct the first PFET calculations at the CW/DFT level and compare them to DFET and full CW benchmarks. We test the performance of PFET at the CW/DFT level for a variety of types of interactions (hydrogen bonding, metallic, and ionic). By introducing an intermediate CW/DFT embedding scheme denoted DFET/PFET, we show how PFET remedies different types of errors in DFET, serving as a more robust type of embedding theory.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)1081-1093
Number of pages13
JournalJournal of Chemical Theory and Computation
Issue number3
StatePublished - Mar 14 2017

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Computer Science Applications
  • Physical and Theoretical Chemistry


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