Physical Review B (Rapid Communications) 82 081405 (2010)
We investigate the binding of single and quadruple hydrogen molecules on a positively charged Ca ion. By comparing with benchmark quantum Monte Carlo (QMC) calculations we demonstrate wide variability in other more approximate electronic structure methods including common density functionals. Single determinant QMC calculations find no binding at short range by approximately 0.1 eV for the quadruple hydrogen molecule case, for a fixed hydrogen bond length of 0.77 Angstrom. Density functional calculations using common functionals such a LDA and B3LYP differ substantially from the QMC binding curve. We show that use of full Hartree--Fock exchange and PBE correlation (HFX+PBEC) obtains close agreement with the QMC results, both qualitatively and quantitatively. These results both motivate the use and development of improved functionals and indicate that caution is required applying electronic structure methods to weakly bound systems such as hydrogen storage materials based on metal ion decorated nanostructures.
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