Perspective on density functional theory

J Chem Phys. 2012 Apr 21;136(15):150901. doi: 10.1063/1.4704546.


Density functional theory (DFT) is an incredible success story. The low computational cost, combined with useful (but not yet chemical) accuracy, has made DFT a standard technique in most branches of chemistry and materials science. Electronic structure problems in a dazzling variety of fields are currently being tackled. However, DFT has many limitations in its present form: too many approximations, failures for strongly correlated systems, too slow for liquids, etc. This perspective reviews some recent progress and ongoing challenges.