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Assessment of the Perdew–Burke–Ernzerhof exchange-correlation functional

M Ernzerhof and G E Scuseria
J. Chem. Phys. 110, 5029 (1999)

In order to discriminate between approximations to the exchange-correlation energy EXC[ρ↑,ρ↓], we employ the criterion of whether the functional is fitted to a certain experimental data set or if it is constructed to satisfy physical constraints. We present extensive test calculations for atoms and molecules, with the nonempirical local spin-density (LSD) and the Perdew–Burke–Ernzerhof (PBE) functional and compare our results with results obtained with more empirical functionals. For the atomization energies of the G2 set, we find that the PBE functional shows systematic errors larger than those of commonly used empirical functionals. The PBE ionization potentials, electron affinities, and bond lengths are of accuracy similar to those obtained from empirical functionals. Furthermore, a recently proposed hybrid scheme using exact exchange together with PBE exchange and correlation is investigated. For all properties studied here, the PBE hybrid gives an accuracy comparable to the frequently used empirical B3LYP hybrid scheme. Physical principles underlying the PBE and PBE hybrid scheme are examined and the range of their validity is discussed.