Validation of Density Functionals for Adsorption Energies on Transition Metal Surfaces

Kaining Duanmu, Donald G Truhlar

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

38 Scopus citations


The quantitative prediction of adsorption energies of radicals and molecules on surfaces is essential for the design and understanding of heterogeneous catalytic processes. A recent paper by Wellendorff et al. collected an experimental database of 39 reaction energies involving adsorption energies on transition metal surfaces that can be used as benchmarks for testing quantum mechanical electronic structure methods, and we compared the experimental data to Kohn-Sham density functional calculations with six exchange-correlation functionals. In this paper, we rearranged the data into two categories: open-shell radical adsorption reactions and closed-shell molecular adsorption reactions. We recalculated the adsorption energies with PBE, and we also calculated them with three functionals, M06-L, GAM, and MN15-L, that were not studied in the Wellendorff et al. paper; then we compared our results to the benchmark data. Of the nine functionals that have been compared to the databases, we find that BEEF-vdW, GAM, and RPBE perform best for the open-shell radical adsorption reactions, and MN15-L performs best for the closed-shell molecular adsorption, followed by BEEF-vdW and M06-L.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)835-842
Number of pages8
JournalJournal of Chemical Theory and Computation
Issue number2
StatePublished - Feb 14 2017

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© 2016 American Chemical Society.


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