Design of density functionals by combining the method of constraint satisfaction with parametrization for thermochemistry, thermochemical kinetics, and noncovalent interactions

Yan Zhao, Nathan E. Schultz, Donald G. Truhlar

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

3303 Scopus citations


We present a new hybrid meta exchange-correlation functional, called M05-2X, for thermochemistry, thermochemical kinetics, and noncovalent interactions. We also provide a full discussion of the new M05 functional, previously presented in a short communication. The M05 functional was parametrized including both metals and nonmetals, whereas M05-2X is a high-nonlocality functional with double the amount of nonlocal exchange (2X) that is parametrized only for nonmetals. In particular, M05 was parametrized against 35 data values, and M05-2X is parametrized against 34 data values. Both functionals, along with 28 other functionals, have been comparatively assessed against 234 data values: the MGAE109/3 main-group atomization energy database, the IP13/3 ionization potential database, the EA13/3 electron affinity database, the HTBH38/4 database of barrier height for hydrogen-transfer reactions, five noncovalent databases, two databases involving metal-metal and metal-ligand bond energies, a dipole moment database, a database of four alkyl bond dissociation energies of alkanes and ethers, and three total energies of one-electron systems. We also tested the new functionals and 12 others for eight hydrogen-bonding and stacking interaction energies in nucleobase pairs, and we tested M05 and M05-2X and 19 other functionals for the geometry, dipole moment, and binding energy of HCN-BF3, which has recently been shown to be a very difficult case for density functional theory. We tested eight functionals for four more alkyl bond dissociation energies, and we tested 12 functionals for several additional bond energies with varying amounts of multireference character. On the basis of all the results for 256 data values in 18 databases in the present study, we recommend M05-2X, M05, PW6B95, PWB6K, and MPWB1K for general-purpose applications in thermochemistry, kinetics, and noncovalent interactions involving nonmetals and we recommend M05 for studies involving both metallic and nonmetallic elements. The M05 functional, essentially uniquely among the functionals with broad applicability to chemistry, also performs well not only for main-group thermochemistry and radical reaction barrier heights but also for transition-metal-transition-metal interactions. The M05-2X functional has the best performance for thermochemical kinetics, noncovalent interactions (especially weak interaction, hydrogen bonding, π⋯π stacking, and interactions energies of nucleobases), and alkyl bond dissociation energies and the best composite results for energetics, excluding metals.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)364-382
Number of pages19
JournalJournal of Chemical Theory and Computation
Issue number2
StatePublished - 2006


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