Improved CO Adsorption Energies, Site Preferences, and Surface Formation Energies from a Meta-Generalized Gradient Approximation Exchange–Correlation Functional, M06-L
A notorious failing of approximate exchange?correlation functionals when applied to problems involving catalysis has been the inability of most local functionals to predict the correct adsorption site for CO on metal surfaces or to simultaneously predict accurate surface formation energies and adsorption energies for transition metals. By adding the kinetic energy density τ to the density functional, the revTPSS density functional was shown recently to achieve a balanced description of surface energies and adsorption energies. Here, we show that the older M06-L density functional, also containing τ, provides improved surface formation energies and CO adsorption energies over revTPSS for five transition metals and correctly predicted the on-top/hollow site adsorption preferences for four of the five metals, which was not achieved by most other local functionals. Because M06-L was entirely designed on the basis of atomic and molecular energies, its very good performance is a confirmation of the reasonableness of its functional form. Two GGA functionals with an expansion in the reduced gradient that is correct through second order, namely, SOGGA and SOGGA11, were also tested and found to produce the best surface formation energies of all tested GGA functionals, although they significantly overestimate the adsorption energies.