We introduce a novel non-local ingredient for the construction of exchange density functionals: the reduced Hartree parameter, which is invariant under the uniform scaling of the density and represents the exact exchange enhancement factor for one- and two-electron systems. The reduced Hartree parameter is used together with the conventional meta-generalized gradient approximation (meta-GGA) semilocal ingredients (i.e., the electron density, its gradient, and the kinetic energy density) to construct a new generation exchange functional, termed u-meta-GGA. This u-meta-GGA functional is exact for the exchange of any one- and two-electron systems, is size-consistent and non-empirical, satisfies the uniform density scaling relation, and recovers the modified gradient expansion derived from the semiclassical atom theory. For atoms, ions, jellium spheres, and molecules, it shows a good accuracy, being often better than meta-GGA exchange functionals. Our construction validates the use of the reduced Hartree ingredient in exchange-correlation functional development, opening the way to an additional rung in the Jacob’s ladder classification of non-empirical density functionals.

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