Communication: Water on hexagonal boron nitride from diffusion Monte Carlo

J Chem Phys. 2015 May 14;142(18):181101. doi: 10.1063/1.4921106.


Despite a recent flurry of experimental and simulation studies, an accurate estimate of the interaction strength of water molecules with hexagonal boron nitride is lacking. Here, we report quantum Monte Carlo results for the adsorption of a water monomer on a periodic hexagonal boron nitride sheet, which yield a water monomer interaction energy of -84 ± 5 meV. We use the results to evaluate the performance of several widely used density functional theory (DFT) exchange correlation functionals and find that they all deviate substantially. Differences in interaction energies between different adsorption sites are however better reproduced by DFT.