Benchmarking the Accuracy of the Direct Random Phase Approximation and σ‑Functionals for NMR Shieldings


Michael Glasbrenner, Daniel Graf, and Christian Ochsenfeld

J. Chem. Theory Comput., 2022, 18, 1, 192–205

A method for computing NMR shieldings with the direct random phase approximation (RPA) and the closely related σ-functionals [Trushin, E.; Thierbach, A.; Görling, A. Toward chemical accuracy at low computational cost: density functional theory with σ-functionals for the correlation energy. J. Chem. Phys.2021,154, 014104] is presented, which is based on a finite-difference approach. The accuracy is evaluated in benchmark calculations using high-quality coupled cluster values as a reference. Our results show that the accuracy of the computed NMR shieldings using direct RPA is strongly dependent on the density functional theory reference orbitals and improves with increasing amounts of exact Hartree–Fock exchange in the functional. NMR shieldings computed with direct RPA using a Hartree–Fock reference are significantly more accurate than MP2 shieldings and comparable to CCSD shieldings. Also, the basis set convergence is analyzed and it is shown that at least triple-zeta basis sets are required for reliable results.