What is semiempirical molecular orbital theory approximating?

  • Johannes T. MargrafEmail author
  • Pavlo O. Dral
Original Paper
Part of the following topical collections:
  1. Tim Clark 70th Birthday Festschrift


We elucidate the approaches used to incorporate electron correlation in existing semiempirical molecular orbital theory (SEMO) methods and compare them with the techniques used in other quantum chemical methods. After analyzing expressions for electron correlation in ab initio wavefunction theory, density functional theory, and density functional-based tight-binding (TB) methods, we suggest a framework for developing hybrid TB-SEMO methods. We provide a numerical proof-of-concept for such a method based on the OM2 method.


Semiempirical molecular orbital theory NDDO Correlated orbital theory Electron correlation OM2 MNDO 



JTM thanks the Alexander-von-Humboldt Foundation and the Technical University of Munich for financial support. PD thanks the European Research Council for financial support through an ERC Advanced Grant (OMSQC). He also thanks Xin Wu for providing his parametrization program. We would like to dedicate this paper to Tim Clark who has been a mentor to both of us during our doctoral studies and ever since.


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© Springer-Verlag GmbH Germany, part of Springer Nature 2019

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Chair for Theoretical ChemistryTechnische Universität MünchenGarchingGermany
  2. 2.Max-Planck-Institut für KohlenforschungMülheim an der RuhrGermany

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