Multiconfiguration pair-density functional theory

Giovanni Li Manni, Rebecca K. Carlson, Sijie Luo, Dongxia Ma, Jeppe Olsen, Donald G. Truhlar, Laura Gagliardi

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

173 Scopus citations


We present a new theoretical framework, called Multiconfiguration Pair-Density Functional Theory (MC-PDFT), which combines multiconfigurational wave functions with a generalization of density functional theory (DFT). A multiconfigurational self-consistent-field (MCSCF) wave function with correct spin and space symmetry is used to compute the total electronic density, its gradient, the on-top pair density, and the kinetic and Coulomb contributions to the total electronic energy. We then use a functional of the total density, its gradient, and the on-top pair density to calculate the remaining part of the energy, which we call the on-top-density-functional energy in contrast to the exchange-correlation energy of Kohn-Sham DFT. Because the on-top pair density is an element of the two-particle density matrix, this goes beyond the Hohenberg-Kohn theorem that refers only to the one-particle density. To illustrate the theory, we obtain first approximations to the required new type of density functionals by translating conventional density functionals of the spin densities using a simple prescription, and we perform post-SCF density functional calculations using the total density, density gradient, and on-top pair density from the MCSCF calculations. Double counting of dynamic correlation or exchange does not occur because the MCSCF energy is not used. The theory is illustrated by applications to the bond energies and potential energy curves of H 2 , N 2 , F 2 , CaO, Cr 2 , and NiCl and the electronic excitation energies of Be, C, N, N + , O, O + , Sc + , Mn, Co, Mo, Ru, N 2 , HCHO, C 4 H 6 , c-C 5 H 6 , and pyrazine. The method presented has a computational cost and scaling similar to MCSCF, but a quantitative accuracy, even with the present first approximations to the new types of density functionals, that is comparable to much more expensive multireference perturbation theory methods.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)3669-3680
Number of pages12
JournalJournal of Chemical Theory and Computation
Issue number9
StatePublished - Sep 9 2014

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