The strong couplings between electronic states in conical intersection regions are among the most challenging problems in quantum chemistry. XMS-CASPT2, a second-order multireference quasidegenerate perturbation theory, has been successful in describing potential energy surfaces near the conical intersections. We have recently proposed a less expensive method for this problem, namely state-interaction pair-density functional theory (SI-PDFT), which considers the coupling between electronic states described by multiconfiguration pair-density functional theory (MC-PDFT). Here we test the accuracy of SI-PDFT for closely coupled potential energy surfaces of methylamine along five different reaction paths for N-H bond fission. We choose paths that pass close to a conical intersection of the ground and first excited states. We find that SI-PDFT predicts potential energy curves and energy splittings near the locally avoided crossing in close proximity to those obtained by XMS-CASPT2. This validates the method for application to photochemical simulations.
Bibliographical noteFunding Information:
The authors are grateful to Kelsey Parker for helpful assistance. This work is supported in part by the National Science Foundation under grant no. CHE-1746186.