skip to main content


Title: Water on BN doped benzene: A hard test for exchange-correlation functionals and the impact of exact exchange on weak binding

Density functional theory (DFT) studies of weakly interacting complexes have recently focused on the importance of van der Waals dispersion forces, whereas the role of exchange has received far less attention. Here, by exploiting the subtle binding between water and a boron and nitrogen doped benzene derivative (1,2-azaborine) we show how exact exchange can alter the binding conformation within a complex. Benchmark values have been calculated for three orientations of the water monomer on 1,2-azaborine from explicitly correlated quantum chemical methods, and we have also used diffusion quantum Monte Carlo. For a host of popular DFT exchange-correlation functionals we show that the lack of exact exchange leads to the wrong lowest energy orientation of water on 1,2-azaborine. As such, we suggest that a high proportion of exact exchange and the associated improvement in the electronic structure could be needed for the accurate prediction of physisorption sites on doped surfaces and in complex organic molecules. Meanwhile to predict correct absolute interaction energies an accurate description of exchange needs to be augmented by dispersion inclusive functionals, and certain non-local van der Waals functionals (optB88- and optB86b-vdW) perform very well for absolute interaction energies. Through a comparison with water on benzene and borazinemore » (B₃N₃H₆) we show that these results could have implications for the interaction of water with doped graphene surfaces, and suggest a possible way of tuning the interaction energy.« less
 [1] ;  [1] ;  [2] ;  [1]
  1. Thomas Young Centre and London Centre for Nanotechnology, London (United Kingdom); University College London, London (United Kingdom)
  2. Univ. of Basel, Basel (Switzerland); Argonne National Lab. (ANL), Argonne, IL (United States)
Publication Date:
Grant/Contract Number:
AC05-00OR22725; AC02-06CH11357
Accepted Manuscript
Journal Name:
Journal of Chemical Physics
Additional Journal Information:
Journal Volume: 141; Journal Issue: 18; Journal ID: ISSN 0021-9606
American Institute of Physics (AIP)
Research Org:
Argonne National Lab. (ANL), Argonne, IL (United States)
Sponsoring Org:
USDOE Office of Science (SC)
Country of Publication:
United States
37 INORGANIC, ORGANIC, PHYSICAL, AND ANALYTICAL CHEMISTRY; water energy interactions; weak interactions; doping; exchange correlation functionals; graphene
OSTI Identifier: