The problem of nonlocal interactions in density functional theory calculations has in part been mitigated by the introduction of range-corrected functional methods. While promising solutions, the continued evaluation of range corrections in the structural simulations of complex molecular crystals is required to judge their efficacy in challenging chemical environments. Here, three pyridinium-based crystals, exhibiting a wide range of intramolecular and intermolecular interactions, are used as benchmark systems for gauging the accuracy of several range-corrected density functional techniques. The computational results are compared to low-temperature experimental single-crystal X-ray diffraction and terahertz spectroscopic measurements, enabling the direct assessment of range correction in the accurate simulation of the potential energy surface minima and curvatures. Ultimately, the simultaneous treatment of both short- and long-range effects by the ωB97-X functional was found to be central to its rank as the top performer in reproducing the complex array of forces that occur in the studied pyridinium solids. These results demonstrate that while long-range corrections are the most commonly implemented range-dependent improvements to density functionals, short-range corrections are vital for the accurate reproduction of forces that rapidly diminish with distance, such as quadrupole-quadrupole interactions.
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Physical and Theoretical Chemistry