Theoretical and Computational Chemistry

A Generally Applicable Atomic-Charge Dependent London Dispersion Correction Scheme


The D4 model is presented for the accurate computation of London dispersion interactions in density functional theory approximations (DFT-D4) and generally for atomistic modeling methods. In this successor to the DFT-D3 model, the atomic coordination-dependent dipole polarizabilities are scaled based on atomic partial charges which can be taken from various sources. For this purpose, a new charge-dependent parameter-economic scaling function is designed. Classical charges are obtained from an atomic electronegativity equilibration procedure for which efficient analytical derivatives are developed. A numerical Casimir-Polder integration of the atom-in-molecule dynamic polarizabilities yields charge- and geometry-dependent dipole-dipole dispersion coefficients. Similar to the D3 model, the dynamic polarizabilities are pre-computed by time-dependent DFT and elements up to radon are covered. For a benchmark set of 1225 dispersion coefficients, the D4 model achieves an unprecedented accuracy with a mean relative deviation of 3.8% compared to 4.7% for D3. In addition to the two-body part, three-body effects are described by an Axilrod-Teller-Muto term. A common many-body dispersion expansion was extensively tested and an energy correction based on D4 polarizabilities is found to be advantageous for some larger systems. Becke-Johnson-type damping parameters for DFT-D4 are determined for more than 60 common functionals. For various energy benchmark sets DFT-D4 slightly outperforms DFT-D3. Especially for metal containing systems, the introduced charge dependence improves thermochemical properties. We suggest (DFT-)D4 as a physically improved and more sophisticated dispersion model in place of DFT-D3 for DFT calculations as well as for other low-cost approaches like semi-empirical models.

Version notes

Correction of several typos and general shortening of the abstract. We added a new EEQ parametrization and we updated the BJ-damping parameter (for D4-ATM and for D4-MBD with EEQ partial charges). Furthermore, all benchmark sets have been re-calculated for the updated parametrizations.


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Supplementary material

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