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  1. Abstract

    The Hohenberg-Kohn theorem of density-functional theory establishes the existence of a bijection between the ground-state electron density and the external potential of a many-body system. This guarantees a one-to-one map from the electron density to all observables of interest including electronic excited-state energies. Time-Dependent Density-Functional Theory (TDDFT) provides one framework to resolve this map; however, the approximations inherent in practical TDDFT calculations, together with their computational expense, motivate finding a cheaper, more direct map for electronic excitations. Here, we show that determining density and energy functionals via machine learning allows the equations of TDDFT to be bypassed. The framework we introduce is used to perform the first excited-state molecular dynamics simulations with a machine-learned functional on malonaldehyde and correctly capture the kinetics of its excited-state intramolecular proton transfer, allowing insight into how mechanical constraints can be used to control the proton transfer reaction in this molecule. This development opens the door to using machine-learned functionals for highly efficient excited-state dynamics simulations.

  2. Free, publicly-accessible full text available February 2, 2023
  3. Abstract

    Kohn-Sham density functional theory (DFT) is a standard tool in most branches of chemistry, but accuracies for many molecules are limited to 2-3 kcal ⋅ mol−1with presently-available functionals. Ab initio methods, such as coupled-cluster, routinely produce much higher accuracy, but computational costs limit their application to small molecules. In this paper, we leverage machine learning to calculate coupled-cluster energies from DFT densities, reaching quantum chemical accuracy (errors below 1 kcal ⋅ mol−1) on test data. Moreover, density-basedΔ-learning (learning only the correction to a standard DFT calculation, termedΔ-DFT ) significantly reduces the amount of training data required, particularly when molecular symmetries are included. The robustness ofΔ-DFT  is highlighted by correcting “on the fly” DFT-based molecular dynamics (MD) simulations of resorcinol (C6H4(OH)2) to obtain MD trajectories with coupled-cluster accuracy. We conclude, therefore, thatΔ-DFT  facilitates running gas-phase MD simulations with quantum chemical accuracy, even for strained geometries and conformer changes where standard DFT fails.