A Mountaineering Strategy to Excited States: Highly-Accurate Energies and Benchmarks for Medium Size Molecules

19 December 2019, Version 1
This content is a preprint and has not undergone peer review at the time of posting.


Following our previous work focussing on compounds containing up to 3 non-hydrogen atoms [J. Chem. Theory Comput. 14 (2018) 4360–4379], we present here highly-accurate vertical transition energies obtained for 27 molecules encompassing 4, 5, and 6 non-hydrogen atoms: acetone, acrolein, benzene, butadiene, cyanoacetylene, cyanoformaldehyde, cyanogen, cyclopentadiene, cyclopropenone, cyclopropenethione, diacetylene, furan, glyoxal, imidazole, isobutene, methylenecyclopropene, propynal, pyrazine, pyridazine, pyridine, pyrimidine, pyrrole, tetrazine, thioacetone, thiophene, thiopropynal, and triazine. To obtain these energies, we use equation-of-motion coupled cluster theory up to the highest technically possible excitation order for these systems (CC3, EOM-CCSDT, and EOM-CCSDTQ), selected configuration interaction (SCI) calculations (with tens of millions of determinants in the reference space), as well as the multiconfigurational 𝑛-electron valence state perturbation theory (NEVPT2) method. All these approaches are applied in combination with diffuse-containing atomic basis sets. For all transitions, we report at least CC3/aug-cc-pVQZ vertical excitation energies as well as CC3/aug-cc-pVTZ oscillator strengths for each dipole-allowed transition. We show that CC3 almost systematically delivers transition energies in agreement with higher-level methods with a typical deviation of Β±0.04 eV, except for transitions with a dominant double excitation character where the error is much larger. The present contribution gathers a large, diverse and accurate set of more than 200 highly-accurate transition energies for states of various natures (valence, Rydberg, singlet, triplet, 𝑛 β†’ πœ‹β˜…, πœ‹ β†’ πœ‹β˜…, . . . ). We use this series of theoretical best estimates to benchmark a series of popular methods for excited state calculations: CIS(D), ADC(2), CC2, STEOM-CCSD, EOM-CCSD, CCSDR(3), CCSDT-3, CC3, as well as NEVPT2. The results of these benchmarks are compared to the available literature data.


benchmark datasets
benchmark methods
coupled cluster theory
Selected Configuration Interaction
multiconfigurational quantum chemical method
Excited States Energies
excitation energies

Supplementary materials



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