Probing the Basis Set Limit for Thermochemical Contributions of Inner-Shell Correlation: Balance of Core-Core and Core-Valence Contributions

30 April 2018, Version 1
This content is a preprint and has not undergone peer review at the time of posting.


The inner-shell correlation contributions to the total atomization energies of the W4-17 computational thermochemistry benchmark have been determined at the CCSD(T) level near the basis set limit using several families of core correlation basis sets, such as aug-cc-pCVnZ (n=3-6), aug-cc-pwCVnZ (n=3-5), and nZaPa-CV (n=3-5). The three families of basis sets agree very well with each other (0.01 kcal/mol RMS) when extrapolating from the two largest available basis sets: however, there are considerable differences in convergence behavior for the smaller basis sets. nZaPa-CV is superior for the core-core term and awCVnZ for the core-valence term. While the aug-cc-pwCV(T+d)Z basis set of Yockel and Wilson is superior to aug-cc-pwCVTZ, further extension of this family proved unproductive. The best compromise between accuracy and computational cost, in the context of high-accuracy computational thermochemistry methods such as W4 theory, is CCSD(T)/awCV{T,Q}Z, where the {T,Q} notation stands for extrapolation from the awCVTZ and awCVQZ basis set pair. For lower-cost calculations, a previously proposed combination of CCSD-F12b/cc-pCVTZ-F12 and CCSD(T)/pwCVTZ(no f) appears to ‘give the best bang for the buck’. While core-valence correlation accounts for the lion’s share of the inner shell contribution in first-row molecules, for second-row molecules core-core contributions may become important, particularly in systems like P4and S4with multiple adjacent second-row atoms.
[In memory of Dieter Cremer, 1944-2017]


core-valence correlation
basis set convergence
thermochemical benchmarks

Supplementary materials

core-valence W4-17 preprint

Supplementary weblinks


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