Self-interaction Correction in Water-ion Clusters

Kamal Wagle, Koblar Alan Jackson

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


We study the importance of self-interaction errors in density functional approximations for various water-ion clusters. We have employed the Fermi-Löwdin orbital self-interaction correction (FLOSIC) method in conjunction with the local spin-density approximation, Perdew-Burke-Ernzerhof (PBE) generalized gradient approximation (GGA), and strongly constrained and appropriately normed (SCAN) meta-GGA to describe binding energies of hydrogen-bonded water-ion clusters, i.e., water-hydronium, water-hydroxide, water-halide, and non-hydrogen-bonded water-alkali clusters. In the hydrogen-bonded water-ion clusters, the building blocks are linked by hydrogen atoms, although the links are much stronger and longer-ranged than the normal hydrogen bonds between water molecules because the monopole on the ion interacts with both permanent and induced dipoles on the water molecules. We find that self-interaction errors overbind the hydrogen-bonded water-ion clusters and that FLOSIC reduces the error and brings the binding energies into closer agreement with higher-level calculations. The non-hydrogen-bonded water-alkali clusters are not significantly affected by self-interaction errors. Self-interaction corrected PBE predicts the lowest mean unsigned error in binding energies (≤50 meV/H2O) for hydrogen-bonded water-ion clusters. Self-interaction errors are also largely dependent on the cluster size, and FLOSIC does not accurately capture the subtle variation in all clusters, indicating the need for further refinement.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)094302
JournalJournal of Chemical Physics
StatePublished - 2021


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