Seven different types of Slater type basis sets for the elements H (Z = 1) up to E118 (Z = 118), ranging from a double zeta valence quality up to a quadruple zeta valence quality, are tested in their performance in neutral atomic and diatomic oxide calculations. The exponents of the Slater type functions are optimized for the use in (scalar relativistic) zeroth-order regular approximated (ZORA) equations. Atomic tests reveal that, on average, the absolute basis set error of 0.03 kcal/mol in the density functional calculation of the valence spinor energies of the neutral atoms with the largest all electron basis set of quadruple zeta quality is lower than the average absolute difference of 0.16 kcal/mol in these valence spinor energies if one compares the results of ZORA equation with those of the fully relativistic Dirac equation. This average absolute basis set error increases to about 1 kcal/mol for the all electron basis sets of triple zeta valence quality, and to approximately 4 kcal/mol for the all electron basis sets of double zeta quality. The molecular tests reveal that, on average, the calculated atomization energies of 118 neutral diatomic oxides MO, where the nuclear charge Z of M ranges from Z = 1–118, with the all electron basis sets of triple zeta quality with two polarization functions added are within 1–2 kcal/mol of the benchmark results with the much larger all electron basis sets, which are of quadruple zeta valence quality with four polarization functions added. The accuracy is reduced to about 4–5 kcal/mol if only one polarization function is used in the triple zeta basis sets, and further reduced to approximately 20 kcal/mol if the all electron basis sets of double zeta quality are used. The inclusion of g-type STOs to the large benchmark basis sets had an effect of less than 1 kcal/mol in the calculation of the atomization energies of the group 2 and group 14 diatomic oxides. The basis sets that are optimized for calculations using the frozen core approximation (frozen core basis sets) have a restricted basis set in the core region compared to the all electron basis sets. On average, the use of these frozen core basis sets give atomic basis set errors that are approximately twice as large as the corresponding all electron basis set errors and molecular atomization energies that are close to the corresponding all electron results. Only if spin-orbit coupling is included in the frozen core calculations larger errors are found, especially for the heavier elements, due to the additional approximation that is made that the basis functions are orthogonalized on scalar relativistic core orbitals. © 2003 Wiley Periodicals, Inc. J Comput Chem 24: 1142–1156, 2003
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