Hole-Hole Tamm-Dancoff-Approximated Density Functional Theory: A Highly Efficient Electronic Structure Method Incorporating Dynamic and Static Correlation
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The study of photochemical reaction dynamics requires accurate as well as computationally efficient electronic structure methods for the ground and excited states. While time-dependent density functional theory (TDDFT) is not able to capture static correlation, complete active space self-consistent field (CASSCF) methods neglect much of the dynamic correlation. Hence, inexpensive methods that encompass both static and dynamic electron correlation effects are of high interest. Here, we revisit hole-hole Tamm-Dancoff approximated (hh-TDA) density functional theory for this purpose. The hh-TDA method is the hole-hole counterpart to the more established particle-particle TDA (pp-TDA) method, both of which are derived from the particle-particle random phase approximation (pp-RPA). In hh-TDA, the N-electron electronic states are obtained through double annihilations starting from a doubly anionic (N+2 electron) reference state. In this way, hh-TDA treats ground and excited states on equal footing, thus allowing for conical intersections to be correctly described. The treatment of dynamic correlation is introduced through the use of commonly-employed density functional approximations to the exchange-correlation potential. We show that hh-TDA is a promising candidate to efficiently treat the photochemistry of organic and biochemical systems that involve several low-lying excited states – particularly those with both low-lying pipi* and npi* states where inclusion of dynamic correlation is essential to describe the relative energetics. In contrast to the existing literature on pp-TDA and pp-RPA, we employ a functional-dependent choice for the response kernel in pp- and hh-TDA, which closely resembles the response kernels occurring in linear response and collinear spin-flip TDDFT.