Here’s another extensive benchmarking study – this time on the use of TD-DFT to predict excitation energies.1 This study looks at the performance of 28 different functionals, and compares the TD-DFT excitation energies against a data set of (a) computed vertical energies and (b) experimental energies. The performance is generally about the same for both data sets, with many functionals (especially the hybrid functionals) giving errors of about 0.3 eV. Performance can be a bit better when examining subclasses of compounds. For example, PBE0 and mPW1PW91 have a mean unsigned error of only 0.14 eV for a set of organic dyes.


(1) Jacquemin, D.; Wathelet, V.; Perpete, E. A.; Adamo, C., "Extensive TD-DFT Benchmark: Singlet-Excited States of Organic Molecules," J. Chem. Theory Comput., 2009, 5, 2420-2435, DOI: 10.1021/ct900298e