Spin-adapted open-shell time-dependent density functional theory. II. Theory and pilot application
The excited states of open-shell systems calculated by unrestricted Kohn–Sham-based time-dependent density functional theory (U-TD-DFT) are often heavily spin-contaminated and hence meaningless. This is solved ultimately by the recently proposed spin-adapted time-dependent density functional theory (TD-DFT) (S-TD-DFT) [J. Chem. Phys. 133, 064106 (2010)]. Unlike the standard restricted open-shell Kohn–Sham-based TD-DFT (R-TD-DFT) which can only access the singlet-coupled single excitations, the S-TD-DFT can capture both the singlet- and triplet-coupled single excitations with the same computational effort as the U-TD-DFT. The performances of the three approaches (U-TD-DFT, R-TD-DFT, and S-TD-DFT) are compared for both the spin-conserving and spin-flip excitations of prototypical open-shell systems, the nitrogen (N2+) and naphthalene (C10H8+) cations. The results show that the S-TD-DFT gives rise to balanced descriptions of excited states of open-shell systems.