Time-dependent Kohn-Sham density functional theory (TD-KS-DFT) is useful for calculating electronic excitation spectra of large systems, but the low-energy spectra are often complicated by artificially lowered higher-energy states. This affects even the lowest energy excited states. Here, by calculating the lowest energy spin-conserving excited state for atoms from H to K and for formaldehyde, we show that this problem does not occur in multiconfiguration pair-density functional theory (MC-PDFT). We use the tPBE on-top density functional, which is a translation of the PBE exchange-correlation functional. We compare to a robust multireference method, namely, complete active space second-order perturbation theory (CASPT2), and to TD-KS-DFT with two popular exchange-correlation functionals, PBE and PBE0. We find for atoms that the mean unsigned error (MUE) of MC-PDFT with the tPBE functional improves from 0.42 to 0.40 eV with a double set of diffuse functions, whereas the MUEs for PBE and PBE0 drastically increase from 0.74 to 2.49 eV and from 0.45 to 1.47 eV, respectively.
- basis set completeness
- electronic spectroscopy
- excited states
- multiconfiguration pair-density functional theory
- time-dependent density functional theory