DOI: 10.1063/1.1520138 ISSN:

Accurate correlation consistent basis sets for molecular core–valence correlation effects: The second row atoms Al–Ar, and the first row atoms B–Ne revisited

Kirk A. Peterson, Thom H. Dunning
  • Physical and Theoretical Chemistry
  • General Physics and Astronomy

Correlation consistent basis sets for accurately describing core–core and core–valence correlation effects in atoms and molecules have been developed for the second row atoms Al–Ar. Two different optimization strategies were investigated, which led to two families of core–valence basis sets when the optimized functions were added to the standard correlation consistent basis sets (cc-pVnZ). In the first case, the exponents of the augmenting primitive Gaussian functions were optimized with respect to the difference between all-electron and valence–electron correlated calculations, i.e., for the core–core plus core–valence correlation energy. This yielded the cc-pCVnZ family of basis sets, which are analogous to the sets developed previously for the first row atoms [D. E. Woon and T. H. Dunning, Jr., J. Chem. Phys. 103, 4572 (1995)]. Although the cc-pCVnZ sets exhibit systematic convergence to the all-electron correlation energy at the complete basis set limit, the intershell (core–valence) correlation energy converges more slowly than the intrashell (core–core) correlation energy. Since the effect of including the core electrons on the calculation of molecular properties tends to be dominated by core–valence correlation effects, a second scheme for determining the augmenting functions was investigated. In this approach, the exponents of the functions to be added to the cc-pVnZ sets were optimized with respect to just the core–valence (intershell) correlation energy, except that a small amount of core–core correlation energy was included in order to ensure systematic convergence to the complete basis set limit. These new sets, denoted weighted core–valence basis sets (cc-pwCVnZ), significantly improve the convergence of many molecular properties with n. Optimum cc-pwCVnZ sets for the first-row atoms were also developed and show similar advantages. Both the cc-pCVnZ and cc-pwCVnZ basis sets were benchmarked in coupled cluster [CCSD(T)] calculations on a series of second row homonuclear diatomic molecules (Al2, Si2, P2, S2, and Cl2), as well as on selected diatomic molecules involving first row atoms (CO, SiO, PN, and BCl). For the calculation of core correlation effects on energetic and spectroscopic properties, the cc-pwCVnZ basis sets are recommended over the cc-pCVnZ ones.

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