Kohn-Sham (KS) time-dependent density functional theory (TDDFT) with most exchange-correlation functionals is well known to systematically underestimate the excitation energies of Rydberg and charge-transfer excited states of atomic and molecular systems. To improve the description of Rydberg states within the KS TDDFT framework, Gaiduk et al. [Phys. Rev. Lett. 108, 253005 (2012)] proposed a scheme that may be called HOMO depopulation. In this study, we tested this scheme on an extensive dataset of valence and Rydberg excitation energies of various atoms, ions, and molecules. It is also tested on a charge-transfer excitation of NH3-F2 and on the potential energy curves of NH3 near a conical intersection. We found that the method can indeed significantly improve the accuracy of predicted Rydberg excitation energies while preserving reasonable accuracy for valence excitation energies. However, it does not appear to improve the description of charge-transfer excitations that are severely underestimated by standard KS TDDFT with conventional exchange-correlation functionals, nor does it perform appreciably better than standard TDDFT for the calculation of potential energy surfaces.
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