In energy decomposition analysis (EDA) of intermolecular interactions calculated via density functional theory, the initial supersystem wavefunction defines the so-called "frozen energy" including contributions such as permanent electrostatics, steric repulsions, and dispersion. This work explores the consequences of the choices that must be made to define the frozen energy. The critical choice is whether the energy should be minimized subject to the constraint of fixed density. Numerical results for Ne2, (H2O)2, BH3-NH3, and ethane dissociation show that there can be a large energy lowering associated with constant density orbital relaxation. By far the most important contribution is constant density inter-fragment relaxation, corresponding to charge transfer (CT). This is unwanted in an EDA that attempts to separate CT effects, but it may be useful in other contexts such as force field development. An algorithm is presented for minimizing single determinant energies at constant density both with and without CT by employing a penalty function that approximately enforces the density constraint.
The first purely density-based energy decomposition analysis (EDA) for intermolecular binding is developed within the density functional theory. The most important feature of this scheme is to variationally determine the frozen density energy, based on a constrained search formalism and implemented with the Wu-Yang algorithm [Q. Wu and W. Yang, J. Chem. Phys. 118, 2498 (2003) ]. This variational process dispenses with the Heitler-London antisymmetrization of wave functions used in most previous methods and calculates the electrostatic and Pauli repulsion energies together without any distortion of the frozen density, an important fact that enables a clean separation of these twomore » terms from the relaxation (i.e., polarization and charge transfer) terms. The new EDA also employs the constrained density functional theory approach [Q. Wu and T. Van Voorhis, Phys. Rev. A 72, 24502 (2005)] to separate out charge transfer effects. Because the charge transfer energy is based on the density flow in real space, it has a small basis set dependence. Applications of this decomposition to hydrogen bonding in the water dimer and the formamide dimer show that the frozen density energy dominates the binding in these systems, consistent with the noncovalent nature of the interactions. A more detailed examination reveals how the interplay of electrostatics and the Pauli repulsion determines the distance and angular dependence of these hydrogen bonds.« less 2b1af7f3a8