(TD) Density functional theory

Gao, Y. ; Neuhauser, D. ; Baer, R. ; Rabani, E. Sublinear scaling for time-dependent stochastic density functional theory. J. Chem. Phys. 2015, 142, 034106.Abstract

A stochastic approach to time-dependent density functional theory is developed for computing the absorption cross section and the random phase approximation (RPA) correlation energy. The core idea of the approach involves time-propagation of a small set of stochastic orbitals which are first projected on the occupied space and then propagated in time according to the time-dependent Kohn-Sham equations. The evolving electron density is exactly represented when the number of random orbitals is infinite, but even a small number ( 16) of such orbitals is enough to obtain meaningful results for absorption spectrum and the RPA correlation energy per electron. We implement the approach for silicon nanocrystals using real-space grids and find that the overall scaling of the algorithm is sublinear with computational time and memory.

Neuhauser, D. ; Baer, R. ; Rabani, E. Communication: Embedded fragment stochastic density functional theory. J. Chem. Phys. 2014, 141, 041102.Abstract

We develop a method in which the electronic densities of small fragments determined by Kohn-Sham density functional theory (DFT) are embedded using stochastic DFT to form the exact density of the full system. The new method preserves the scaling and the simplicity of the stochastic DFT but cures the slow convergence that occurs when weakly coupled subsystems are treated. It overcomes the spurious charge fluctuations that impair the applications of the original stochastic DFT approach. We demonstrate the new approach on a fullerene dimer and on clusters of water molecules and show that the density of states and the total energy can be accurately described with a relatively small number of stochastic orbitals.

Baratz, A. ; White, A. J. ; Galperin, M. ; Baer, R. Effects of Electromagnetic Coupling on Conductance Switching of a Gated Tunnel Junction. The Journal of Physical Chemistry Letters 2014, 5 3545–3550.Abstract

Using a combination of density functional theory and quantum master equations approach, we study the effect of electromagnetic (EM) coupling on the nonequilibrium steady-state behavior of a recently introduced gated molecular junction. This junction was demonstrated in a previous publication to exhibit sharp current switching near a certain critical DC field Ez*, which induces intramolecular charge transfer, and here, we analyze the steady-state population and current when an AC EM field (EMF) is present. The AC EMF at frequency $ømega_0$ produces pronounced population and current features at gate fields Ez = Ez* ± $\hbar ømega_0/ez$ (where $e_z$ is the dipole of the charge-transfer state) and thus allows additional sharp switching capability at lower gate fields. We found that even when EMF is absent, the EM coupling itself changes the overall steady-state population and current distributions because it allows for relaxation via spontaneous emission

Cytter, Y. ; Neuhauser, D. ; Baer, R. Metropolis Evaluation of the Hartree–Fock Exchange Energy. J. Chem. Theory Comput. 2014, 10, 4317–4323.Abstract

We examine the possibility of using a Metropolis algorithm for computing the exchange energy in a large molecular system. Following ideas set forth in a recent publication (Baer, Neuhauser, and Rabani, Phys. Rev. Lett. 111, 106402 (2013)) we focus on obtaining the exchange energy per particle (ExPE, as opposed to the total exchange energy) to a predefined statistical error and on determining the numerical scaling of the calculation achieving this. For this we assume that the occupied molecular orbitals (MOs) are known and given in terms of a standard Gaussian atomic basis set. The Metropolis random walk produces a sequence of pairs of three-dimensional points (x,x'), which are distributed in proportion to $\rho(x,x')^2$, where $\rho(x,x')$ is the density matrix. The exchange energy per particle is then simply the average of the Coulomb repulsion energy U_C(|x–x'|) over these pairs. To reduce the statistical error we separate the exchange energy into a short-range term that can be calculated deterministically in a linear scaling fashion and a long-range term that is treated by the Metropolis method. We demonstrate the method on water clusters and silicon nanocrystals showing the magnitude of the ExPE standard deviation is independent of system size. In the water clusters a longer random walk was necessary to obtain full ergodicity as Metropolis walkers tended to get stuck for a while in localized regions. We developed a diagnostic tool that can alert a user when such a situation occurs. The calculation effort scales linearly with system size if one uses an atom screening procedure that can be made numerically exact. In systems where the MOs can be localized efficiently the ExPE can even be computed with “sublinear scaling” as the MOs themselves can be screened.

Egger, D. A. ; Weissman, S. ; Refaely-Abramson, S. ; Sharifzadeh, S. ; Dauth, M. ; Baer, R. ; Kümmel, S. ; Neaton, J. B. ; Zojer, E. ; Kronik, L. Outer-valence Electron Spectra of Prototypical Aromatic Heterocycles from an Optimally Tuned Range-Separated Hybrid Functional. J. Chem. Theory Comput. 2014, 10, 1934–1952.Abstract

Density functional theory with optimally tuned range-separated hybrid (OT-RSH) functionals has been recently suggested [Refaely-Abramson et al. Phys. Rev. Lett. 2012, 109, 226405] as a nonempirical approach to predict the outer-valence electronic structure of molecules with the same accuracy as many-body perturbation theory. Here, we provide a quantitative evaluation of the OT-RSH approach by examining its performance in predicting the outer-valence electron spectra of several prototypical gas-phase molecules, from aromatic rings (benzene, pyridine, and pyrimidine) to more complex organic systems (terpyrimidinethiol and copper phthalocyanine). For a range up to several electronvolts away from the frontier orbital energies, we find that the outer-valence electronic structure obtained from the OT-RSH method agrees very well (typically within  0.1–0.2 eV) with both experimental photoemission and theoretical many-body perturbation theory data in the GW approximation. In particular, we find that with new strategies for an optimal choice of the short-range fraction of Fock exchange, the OT-RSH approach offers a balanced description of localized and delocalized states. We discuss in detail the sole exception found—a high-symmetry orbital, particular to small aromatic rings, which is relatively deep inside the valence state manifold. Overall, the OT-RSH method is an accurate DFT-based method for outer-valence electronic structure prediction for such systems and is of essentially the same level of accuracy as contemporary GW approaches, at a reduced computational cost.

Refaely-Abramson, S. ; Sharifzadeh, S. ; Jain, M. ; Baer, R. ; Neaton, J. B. ; Kronik, L. Gap renormalization of molecular crystals from density-functional theory. Phys. Rev. B 2013, 88, 081204.Abstract

Fundamental gap renormalization due to electronic polarization is a basic phenomenon in molecular crystals. Despite its ubiquity and importance, all conventional approaches within density-functional theory completely fail to capture it, even qualitatively. Here, we present a new screened range-separated hybrid functional, which, through judicious introduction of the scalar dielectric constant, quantitatively captures polarization-induced gap renormalization, as demonstrated on the prototypical organic molecular crystals of benzene, pentacene, and C60. This functional is predictive, as it contains system-specific adjustable parameters that are determined from first principles, rather than from empirical considerations.

Baratz, A. ; Galperin, M. ; Baer, R. Gate-Induced Intramolecular Charge Transfer in a Tunnel Junction: A Nonequilibrium Analysis. J. Phys. Chem. C 2013, 117, 10257–10263.Abstract

A recently introduced molecular junction, for which the gate acts as an on/off switch for intrajunction electron transfer between localized donor and acceptor sites is studied. We demonstrate that a Landauer + density functional (DFT) approach is fundamentally flawed for describing the electronic conductance in this system. By comparing the Landauer + DFT conductance to that predicted by the Redfield quantum master equations, we point out several effects that cannot be explained by the former approach. The molecular junction is unique in the small number of conductance channels and their sharp response to the gate.

Baer, R. ; Neuhauser, D. ; Rabani, E. Self-Averaging Stochastic Kohn-Sham Density-Functional Theory. Phys. Rev. Lett. 2013, 111, 106402. Publisher's VersionAbstract

We formulate the Kohn-Sham density functional theory (KS-DFT) as a statistical theory in which the electron density is determined from an average of correlated stochastic densities in a trace formula. The key idea is that it is sufficient to converge the total energy per electron to within a predefined statistical error in order to obtain reliable estimates of the electronic band structure, the forces on nuclei, the density and its moments, etc. The fluctuations in the total energy per electron are guaranteed to decay to zero as the system size increases. This facilitates “self-averaging” which leads to the first ever report of sublinear scaling KS-DFT electronic structure. The approach sidesteps calculation of the density matrix and thus, is insensitive to its evasive sparseness, as demonstrated here for silicon nanocrystals. The formalism is not only appealing in terms of its promise to far push the limits of application of KS-DFT, but also represents a cognitive change in the way we think of electronic structure calculations as this stochastic theory seamlessly converges to the thermodynamic limit.

Stein, T. ; Autschbach, J. ; Govind, N. ; Kronik, L. ; Baer, R. Curvature and Frontier Orbital Energies in Density Functional Theory. J. Phys. Chem. Lett. 2012, 3 3740–3744.Abstract

Perdew et al. discovered two different properties of exact Kohn–Sham density functional theory (DFT): (i) The exact total energy versus particle number is a series of linear segments between integer electron points. (ii) Across an integer number of electrons, the exchange-correlation potential “jumps” by a constant, known as the derivative discontinuity (DD). Here we show analytically that in both the original and the generalized Kohn–Sham formulation of DFT the two properties are two sides of the same coin. The absence of a DD dictates deviation from piecewise linearity, but the latter, appearing as curvature, can be used to correct for the former, thereby restoring the physical meaning of orbital energies. A simple correction scheme for any semilocal and hybrid functional, even Hartree–Fock theory, is shown to be effective on a set of small molecules, suggesting a practical correction for the infamous DFT gap problem. We show that optimally tuned range-separated hybrid functionals can inherently minimize both DD and curvature, thus requiring no correction, and that this can be used as a sound theoretical basis for novel tuning strategies.

Salzner, U. ; Baer, R. Density functional theory orbital energies for predicting ionization energies. In AIP Conference Proceedings; AIP, 2012; Vol. 1504, pp. 1257–1260.Abstract

The range-separated Baer-Neuhauser-Livshits functional with optimized range-separation parameter \gamma was employed to predict ionization energies of alkanes and oligothiophenes. For all systems negative orbital energies of neutral species are consistent with explicitly calculated states of cations. For \sigma-systems excellent agreement with experiment is obtained while for conjugated π-systems IPs are underestimated.

Refaely-Abramson, S. ; Sharifzadeh, S. ; Govind, N. ; Autschbach, J. ; Neaton, J. B. ; Baer, R. ; Kronik, L. Quasiparticle Spectra from a Nonempirical Optimally Tuned Range-Separated Hybrid Density Functional. Phys. Rev. Lett. 2012, 109, 226405. Publisher's VersionAbstract

We present a method for obtaining outer-valence quasiparticle excitation energies from a density-functional-theory-based calculation, with an accuracy that is comparable to that of many-body perturbation theory within the GW approximation. The approach uses a range-separated hybrid density functional, with an asymptotically exact and short-range fractional Fock exchange. The functional contains two parameters, the range separation and the short-range Fock fraction. Both are determined nonempirically, per system, on the basis of the satisfaction of exact physical constraints for the ionization potential and frontier-orbital many-electron self-interaction, respectively. The accuracy of the method is demonstrated on four important benchmark organic molecules: perylene, pentacene, 3,4,9,10-perylene-tetracarboxylic-dianydride (PTCDA), and 1,4,5,8-naphthalene-tetracarboxylic-dianhydride (NTCDA). We envision that for the outer-valence excitation spectra of finite systems the approach could provide an inexpensive alternative to GW, opening the door to the study of presently out of reach large-scale systems.

Kronik, L. ; Stein, T. ; Refaely-Abramson, S. ; Baer, R. Excitation Gaps of Finite-Sized Systems from Optimally Tuned Range-Separated Hybrid Functionals. J. Chem. Theory Comput. 2012, 8 1515–1531.Abstract

Excitation gaps are of considerable significance in electronic structure theory. Two different gaps are of particular interest. The fundamental gap is defined by charged excitations, as the difference between the first ionization potential and the first electron affinity. The optical gap is defined by a neutral excitation, as the difference between the energies of the lowest dipole-allowed excited state and the ground state. Within many-body perturbation theory, the fundamental gap is the difference between the corresponding lowest quasi-hole and quasi-electron excitation energies, and the optical gap is addressed by including the interaction between a quasi-electron and a quasi-hole. A long-standing challenge has been the attainment of a similar description within density functional theory (DFT), with much debate on whether this is an achievable goal even in principle. Recently, we have constructed and applied a new approach to this problem. Anchored in the rigorous theoretical framework of the generalized Kohn–Sham equation, our method is based on a range-split hybrid functional that uses exact long-range exchange. Its main novel feature is that the range-splitting parameter is not a universal constant but rather is determined from first principles, per system, based on satisfaction of the ionization potential theorem. For finite-sized objects, this DFT approach mimics successfully, to the best of our knowledge for the first time, the quasi-particle picture of many-body theory. Specifically, it allows for the extraction of both the fundamental and the optical gap from one underlying functional, based on the HOMO–LUMO gap of a ground-state DFT calculation and the lowest excitation energy of a linear-response time-dependent DFT calculation, respectively. In particular, it produces the correct optical gap for the difficult case of charge-transfer and charge-transfer-like scenarios, where conventional functionals are known to fail. In this perspective, we overview the formal and practical challenges associated with gap calculations, explain our new approach and how it overcomes previous difficulties, and survey its application to a variety of systems.

Baratz, A. ; Baer, R. Nonmechanical Conductance Switching in a Molecular Tunnel Junction. J. Phys. Chem. Lett. 2012, 3 498–502.Abstract

We present a molecular junction composed of a donor (polyacetylene strands) and an acceptor (malononitrile) connected together via a benzene ring and coupled weakly to source and drain electrodes on each side, for which a gate electrode induces intramolecular charge transfer, switching reversibly the character of conductance. Using a new brand of density functional theory, for which orbital energies are similar to the quasiparticle energies, we show that the junction displays a single, gate-tunable differential conductance channel in a wide energy range. The gate field must align parallel to the displacement vector between donors and acceptor to affect their potential difference; for strong enough fields, spontaneous intramolecular electron transfer occurs. This event radically affects conductance, reversing the charge of carriers, enabling a spin-polarized current channel. We discuss the physical principles controlling the operation of the junction and find interplay of quantum interference, charging, Coulomb blockade, and electron-hole binding energy effects. We expect that this switching behavior is a generic property for similar donor-acceptor systems of sufficient stability.

Baer, R. ; Neuhauser, D. Communication: Monte Carlo calculation of the exchange energy. J. Chem. Phys. 2012, 137, 051103–4.Abstract

In recent generalized Kohn-Sham (GKS) schemes for density functional theory (DFT) Hartree-Fock type exchange is important. In plane waves and grid approaches the high cost of exchange energy calculations makes these GKS considerably more expensive than Kohn-Sham DFT calculations. We develop a stochastic approach for speeding up the calculation of exchange for large systems. We show that stochastic error per particle does not grow and can even decrease with system size (at a given number of iterations). We discuss several alternative approaches and explain how these ideas can be included in the GKS framework.

Refaely-Abramson, S. ; Baer, R. ; Kronik, L. Fundamental and excitation gaps in molecules of relevance for organic photovoltaics from an optimally tuned range-separated hybrid functional. Phys. Rev. B 2011, 84, 075144.Abstract

The fundamental and optical gaps of relevant molecular systems are of primary importance for organic-based photovoltaics. Unfortunately, whereas optical gaps are accessible with time-dependent density functional theory (DFT), the highest-occupied - lowest-unoccupied eigenvalue gaps resulting from DFT calculations with semi-local or hybrid functionals routinely and severely underestimate the fundamental gaps of gas-phase organic molecules. Here, we show that a range-separated hybrid functional, optimally tuned so as to obey Koopmans' theorem, provides fundamental gaps that are very close to benchmark results obtained from many-body perturbation theory in the GW approximation. We then show that using this functional does not compromise the possibility of obtaining reliable optical gaps from time-dependent DFT. We therefore suggest optimally tuned range-separated hybrid functionals as a practical and accurate tool for DFT-based predictions of photovoltaically relevant and other molecular systems.

Livshits, E. ; Granot, R. S. ; Baer, R. A Density Functional Theory for Studying Ionization Processes in Water Clusters. J. Phys. Chem. A 2011, 115, 5735–5744. Publisher's VersionAbstract

A generalized Kohn-Sham (GKS) approach to density functional theory (DFT), based on the Baer-Neuhauser-Livshits range-separated hybrid, combined with ab initio motivated range-parameter tuning is used to study properties of water dimer and pentamer cations. The water dimer is first used as a benchmark system to check the approach. The present brand of DFT localizes the positive charge (hole), stabilizing the proton transferred geometry in agreement with recent coupled-cluster calculations. Relative energies of various conformers of the water dimer cation compare well with previously published coupled cluster results. The GKS orbital energies are good approximations to the experimental ionization potentials of the system. Low-lying excitation energies calculated from time-dependent DFT based on the present method compare well with recently published high-level "equation of motion-coupled-cluster" calculations. The harmonic frequencies of the water dimer cation are in good agreement with experimental and wave function calculations where available. The method is applied to study the water pentamer cation. Three conformers are identified: two are Eigen type and one is a Zundel type. The structure and harmonic vibrational structure are analyzed. The ionization dynamics of a pentamer water cluster at 0 K shows a fast <50 fs transient for transferring a proton from one of the water molecules, releasing a hydroxyl radical and creating a protonated tetramer carrying the excess hole.

Karolewski, A. ; Stein, T. ; Baer, R. ; Kümmel, S. Communication: Tailoring the optical gap in light-harvesting molecules. J. Chem. Phys. 2011, 134, 151101.Abstract

Systematically varying the optical gap that is associated with charge-transfer excitations is an important step in the design of light-harvesting molecules. So far the guidance that time-dependent density functional theory could give in this process was limited by the traditional functionals' inability to describe charge-transfer excitations. We show that a nonempirical range-separated hybrid approach allows to reliably predict charge-transfer excitations for molecules of practically relevant complexity. Calculated absorption energies agree with measured ones. We predict from theory that by varying the number of thiophenes in donor-acceptor-donor molecules, the energy of the lowest optical absorption can be tuned to the lower end of the visible spectrum. Saturation sets in at about five thiophene rings. (C) 2011 American Institute of Physics. [doi:10.1063/1.3581788]

Stein, T. ; Eisenberg, H. R. ; Kronik, L. ; Baer, R. Fundamental gaps in finite systems from eigenvalues of a generalized Kohn-Sham method. Phys. Rev. Lett. 2010, 105, 266802.Abstract

We present a broadly applicable, physically motivated, first-principles approach to determining the fundamental gap of finite systems from single-electron orbital energies. The approach is based on using a range-separated hybrid functional within the generalized Kohn-Sham approach to density functional theory. Its key element is the choice of a range-separation parameter such that Koopmans’ theorem for both neutral and anion is obeyed as closely as possible. We demonstrate the validity, accuracy, and advantages of this approach on first, second and third row atoms, the oligoacene family of molecules, and a set of hydrogen-passivated silicon nanocrystals. This extends the quantitative usage of density functional theory to an area long believed to be outside its reach.

Baer, R. Ground-State Degeneracies Leave Recognizable Topological Scars in the Electronic Density. Phys. Rev. Lett. 2010, 104, 073001.Abstract

In Kohn-Sham density functional theory (KS DFT) a fictitious system of noninteracting particles is constructed having the same ground-state (GS) density as the physical system of interest. A fundamental open question in DFT concerns the ability of an exact KS calculation to spot and characterize the GS degeneracies in the physical system. In this Letter we provide theoretical evidence suggesting that the GS density, as a function of position on a 2D manifold of parameters affecting the external potential, is â€øe}topologically scarredâ€ï¿½ in a distinct way by degeneracies. These scars are sufficiently detailed to enable determination of the positions of degeneracies and even the associated Berry phases. We conclude that an exact KS calculation can spot and characterize the degeneracies of the physical system.

Baer, R. ; Livshits, E. ; Salzner, U. Tuned Range-separated hybrids in density functional theory. Annu. Rev. Phys. Chem. 2010, 61, 85–109. Publisher's VersionAbstract

We review density functional theory (DFT) within the Kohn-Sham (KS) and the generalized KS (GKS) frameworks from a theoretical perspective for both time-independent and time-dependent problems. We focus on the use of range-separated hybrids within a GKS approach as a practical remedy for dealing with the deleterious long-range self-repulsion plaguing many approximate implementations of DFT. This technique enables DFT to be widely relevant in new realms such as charge transfer, radical cation dimers, and Rydberg excitations. Emphasis is put on a new concept of system-specific range-parameter tuning, which introduces predictive power in applications considered until recently too difficult for DFT.