Reference : Understanding non-covalent interactions in larger molecular complexes from first prin...
Scientific journals : Article
Physical, chemical, mathematical & earth Sciences : Physics
Physics and Materials Science; Computational Sciences
Understanding non-covalent interactions in larger molecular complexes from first principles
Al-Hamdani, Yasmine []
Tkatchenko, Alexandre mailto [University of Luxembourg > Faculty of Science, Technology and Communication (FSTC) > Physics and Materials Science Research Unit >]
Journal of Chemical Physics
American Institute of Physics
Yes (verified by ORBilu)
New York
[en] Non-covalent interactions pervade all matter and play a fundamental role in layered materials, biological systems, and large molecular complexes. Despite this, our accumulated understanding of non-covalent interactions to date has been mainly developed in the tens-of-atoms molecular regime. This falls considerably short of the scales at which we would like to understand energy trends, structural properties, and temperature dependencies in materials where non-covalent interactions have an appreciable role. However, as more reference information is obtained beyond moderately sized molecular systems, our understanding is improving and we stand to gain pertinent insights by tackling more complex systems, such as supramolecular complexes, molecular crystals, and other soft materials. In addition, accurate reference information is needed to provide the drive for extending the predictive power of more efficient workhorse methods, such as density functional approximations that also approximate van der Waals dispersion interactions. In this perspective, we discuss the first-principles approaches that have been used to obtain reference interaction energies for beyond modestly sized molecular complexes. The methods include quantum Monte Carlo, symmetry-adapted perturbation theory, non-canonical coupled cluster theory, and approaches based on the random-phase approximation. By considering the approximations that underpin each method, the most accurate theoretical references for supramolecular complexes and molecular crystals to date are ascertained. With these, we also assess a handful of widely used exchange-correlation functionals in density functional theory. The discussion culminates in a framework for putting into perspective the accuracy of high-level wavefunction-based methods and identifying future challenges.

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