Recent Publications

Arnon, E. ; Rabani, E. ; Neuhauser, D. ; Baer, R. Efficient Langevin dynamics for "noisy" forces. arXiv:2001.12002 [cond-mat, physics:physics] 2020. Publisher's VersionAbstract

Efficient Boltzmann-sampling using first-principles methods is challenging for extended systems due to the steep scaling of electronic structure methods with the system size. Stochastic approaches provide a gentler system-size dependency at the cost of introducing "noisy" forces, which serve to limit the efficiency of the sampling. In the first-order Langevin dynamics (FOLD), efficient sampling is achievable by combining a well-chosen preconditioning matrix S with a time-step-bias-mitigating propagator (Mazzola et al., Phys. Rev. Lett., 118, 015703 (2017)). However, when forces are noisy, S is set equal to the force-covariance matrix, a procedure which severely limits the efficiency and the stability of the sampling. Here, we develop a new, general, optimal, and stable sampling approach for FOLD under noisy forces. We apply it for silicon nanocrystals treated with stochastic density functional theory and show efficiency improvements by an order-of-magnitude.

Transition to metallization in warm dense helium-hydrogen mixtures using stochastic density functional theory within the Kubo-Greenwood formalism
Cytter, Y. ; Rabani, E. ; Neuhauser, D. ; Preising, M. ; Redmer, R. ; Baer, R. Transition to metallization in warm dense helium-hydrogen mixtures using stochastic density functional theory within the Kubo-Greenwood formalism. Physical Review B 2019, 100. Publisher's VersionAbstract

Abstract The Kubo-Greenwood (KG) formula is often used in conjunction with Kohn-Sham (KS) density functional theory (DFT) to compute the optical conductivity, particularly for warm dense mater. For applying the KG formula, all KS eigenstates and eigenvalues up to an energy cutoff are required and thus the approach becomes expensive, especially for high temperatures and large systems, scaling cubically with both system size and temperature. Here, we develop an approach to calculate the KS conductivity within the stochastic DFT (sDFT) framework, which requires knowledge only of the KS Hamiltonian but not its eigenstates and values. We show that the computational effort associated with the method scales linearly with system size and reduces in proportion to the temperature unlike the cubic increase with traditional deterministic approaches. In addition, we find that the method allows an accurate description of the entire spectrum, including the high-frequency range, unlike the deterministic method which is compelled to introduce a high-frequency cut-off due to memory and computational time constraints. We apply the method to helium-hydrogen mixtures in the warm dense matter regime at temperatures of \textbackslashsim60\textbackslashtext\kK\ and find that the system displays two conductivity phases, where a transition from non-metal to metal occurs when hydrogen atoms constitute \textbackslashsim0.3 of the total atoms in the system.

Quantum Monte Carlo assessment of density functionals for π-electron molecules: ethylene and bifuran
Ospadov, E. ; Rothstein, S. M. ; Baer, R. Quantum Monte Carlo assessment of density functionals for π-electron molecules: ethylene and bifuran. 2019, 117, 2241–2250. Publisher's VersionAbstract

We perform all-electron, pure-sampling quantum Monte Carlo (QMC) calculations on ethylene and bifuran molecules. The orbitals used for importance sampling with a single Slater determinant are generated from Hartree-Fock and density functional theory (DFT). Their fixed-node energy provides an upper bound to the exact energy. The best performing density functionals for ethylene are BP86 and M06, which account for 99% of the electron correlation energy. Sampling from the π-electron distribution with these orbitals yields a quadrupole moment comparable to coupled cluster CCSD(T) calculations. However, these, and all other density functionals, fail to agree with CCSD(T) while sampling from electron density in the plane of the molecule. For bifuran, as well as ethylene, a correlation is seen between the fixed-node energy and deviance of the QMC quadrupole moment estimates from those calculated by DFT. This suggests that proximity of DFT and QMC densities correlates with the quality of the exchange nodes of the DFT wave function for both systems.

Stochastic embedding DFT: Theory and application to p-nitroaniline in water
Li, W. ; Chen, M. ; Rabani, E. ; Baer, R. ; Neuhauser, D. Stochastic embedding DFT: Theory and application to p-nitroaniline in water. 2019, 151, 174115. Publisher's VersionAbstract

Over this past decade, we combined the idea of stochastic resolution of identity with a variety of electronic structure methods. In our stochastic Kohn-Sham density functional theory (DFT) method, the density is an average over multiple stochastic samples, with stochastic errors that decrease as the inverse square root of the number of sampling orbitals. Here, we develop a stochastic embedding density functional theory method (se-DFT) that selectively reduces the stochastic error (specifically on the forces) for a selected subsystem(s). The motivation, similar to that of other quantum embedding methods, is that for many systems of practical interest, the properties are often determined by only a small subsystem. In stochastic embedding DFT, two sets of orbitals are used: a deterministic one associated with the embedded subspace and the rest, which is described by a stochastic set. The method agrees exactly with deterministic calculations in the limit of a large number of stochastic samples. We apply se-DFT to study a p-nitroaniline molecule in water, where the statistical errors in the forces on the system (the p-nitroaniline molecule) are reduced by an order of magnitude compared with nonembedding stochastic DFT.

Nonmonotonic band gap evolution in bent phosphorene nanosheets
Vlček, V. ; Rabani, E. ; Baer, R. ; Neuhauser, D. Nonmonotonic band gap evolution in bent phosphorene nanosheets. Phys. Rev. Materials 2019, 3 064601. Publisher's VersionAbstract

Nonmonotonic bending-induced changes of fundamental band gaps and quasiparticle energies are observed for realistic nanoscale phosphorene nanosheets. Calculations using stochastic many-body perturbation theory show that even slight curvature causes significant changes in the electronic properties. For small bending radii (\textless4 nm) the band gap changes from direct to indirect. The response of phosphorene to deformation is strongly anisotropic (different for zigzag vs armchair bending) due to an interplay of exchange and correlation effects. Overall, our results show that fundamental band gaps of phosphorene sheets can be manipulated by as much as 0.7 eV depending on the bending direction.