Self-Interaction Error in Density Functional Theory: An Appraisal

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Self-interaction error (SIE) is considered to be one of the major sources of error in most approximate exchange-correlation functionals for Kohn-Sham density-functional theory (KS-DFT), and it is large with all local exchange-correlation functionals and with some hybrid functionals. In this work, we consider systems conventionally considered to be dominated by SIE. For these systems, we demonstrate that by using multiconfiguration pair-density functional theory (MC-PDFT), the error of a translated local density-functional approximation is significantly reduced (by a factor of 3) when using an MCSCF density and on-top density, as compared to using KS-DFT with the parent functional; the error in MC-PDFT with local on-top functionals is even lower than the error in some popular KS-DFT hybrid functionals. Density-functional theory, either in MC-PDFT form with local on-top functionals or in KS-DFT form with some functionals having 50% or more nonlocal exchange, has smaller errors for SIE-prone systems than does CASSCF, which has no SIE.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)2353-2358
Number of pages6
JournalJournal of Physical Chemistry Letters
Issue number9
StatePublished - May 3 2018

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