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See detailFast and accurate quantum Monte Carlo for molecular crystals
Zen, Andrea; Brandenburg, Jan Gerit; Klimes, Jiri et al

in Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences of the United States of America (2018), 115

Computer simulation plays a central role in modern-day materials science. The utility of a given computational approach depends largely on the balance it provides between accuracy and computational cost ... [more ▼]

Computer simulation plays a central role in modern-day materials science. The utility of a given computational approach depends largely on the balance it provides between accuracy and computational cost. Molecular crystals are a class of materials of great technological importance which are challenging for even the most sophisticated ab initio electronic structure theories to accurately describe. This is partly because they are held together by a balance of weak intermolecular forces but also because the primitive cells of molecular crystals are often substantially larger than those of atomic solids. Here, we demonstrate that diffusion quantum Monte Carlo (DMC) delivers subchemical accuracy for a diverse set of molecular crystals at a surprisingly moderate computational cost. As such, we anticipate that DMC can play an important role in understanding and predicting the properties of a large number of molecular crystals, including those built from relatively large molecules which are far beyond reach of other high-accuracy methods. [less ▲]

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See detailProperties of the water to boron nitride interaction: from zero to two dimensions with benchmark accuracy
Al-Hamdani, Yasmine UL; Rossi, Mariana; Alfè, Dario et al

in Journal of Chemical Physics (2017), 147

Molecular adsorption on surfaces plays an important part in catalysis, corrosion, desalination, and various other processes that are relevant to industry and in nature. As a complement to experiments ... [more ▼]

Molecular adsorption on surfaces plays an important part in catalysis, corrosion, desalination, and various other processes that are relevant to industry and in nature. As a complement to experiments, accurate adsorption energies can be obtained using various sophisticated electronic structure methods that can now be applied to periodic systems. The adsorption energy of water on boron nitride substrates, going from zero to 2-dimensional periodicity, is particularly interesting as it calls for an accurate treatment of polarizable electrostatics and dispersion interactions, as well as posing a practical challenge to experiments and electronic structure methods. Here, we present reference adsorption energies, static polarizabilities, and dynamic polarizabilities, for water on BN substrates of varying size and dimension. Adsorption energies are computed with coupled cluster theory, fixed-node quantum Monte Carlo (FNQMC), the random phase approximation, and second order Møller-Plesset theory. These wavefunction based correlated methods are found to agree in molecular as well as periodic systems. The best estimate of the water/h-BN adsorption energy is −107 ± 7 meV from FNQMC. In addition, the water adsorption energy on the BN substrates could be expected to grow monotonically with the size of the substrate due to increased dispersion interactions, but interestingly, this is not the case here. This peculiar finding is explained using the static polarizabilities and molecular dispersion coefficients of the systems, as computed from time-dependent density functional theory (DFT). Dynamic as well as static polarizabilities are found to be highly anisotropic in these systems. In addition, the many-body dispersion method in DFT emerges as a particularly useful estimation of finite size effects for other expensive, many-body wavefunction based methods. [less ▲]

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See detailInsight into the description of van der Waals forces for benzene adsorption on transition metal (111) surfaces
Tkatchenko, Alexandre UL; Carrasco, Javier; Liu, Wei et al

in Journal of Chemical Physics (2014), 140(8),

Exploring the role of van der Waals (vdW) forces on the adsorption of molecules on extended metal surfaces has become possible in recent years thanks to exciting developments in density functional theory ... [more ▼]

Exploring the role of van der Waals (vdW) forces on the adsorption of molecules on extended metal surfaces has become possible in recent years thanks to exciting developments in density functional theory (DFT). Among these newly developed vdW-inclusive methods, interatomic vdW approaches that account for the nonlocal screening within the bulk [V. G. Ruiz, W. Liu, E. Zojer, M. Scheffler, and A. Tkatchenko, Phys. Rev. Lett. 108, 146103 (2012)] and improved nonlocal functionals [J. Klimes, D. R. Bowler, and A. Michaelides, J. Phys.: Condens. Matter 22, 022201 (2010)] have emerged as promising candidates to account efficiently and accurately for the lack of long-range vdW forces in most popular DFT exchange-correlation functionals. Here we have used these two approaches to compute benzene adsorption on a range of close-packed (111) surfaces upon which it either physisorbs (Cu, Ag, and Au) or chemisorbs (Rh, Pd, Ir, and Pt). We have thoroughly compared the performance between the two classes of vdW-inclusive methods and when available compared the results obtained with experimental data. By examining the computed adsorption energies, equilibrium distances, and binding curves we conclude that both methods allow for an accurate treatment of adsorption at equilibrium adsorbate-substrate distances. To this end, explicit inclusion of electrodynamic screening in the interatomic vdW scheme and optimized exchange functionals in the case of nonlocal vdW density functionals is mandatory. Nevertheless, some discrepancies are found between these two classes of methods at large adsorbate-substrate separations. [less ▲]

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See detailOn the accuracy of van der Waals inclusive density-functional theory exchange-correlation functionals for ice at ambient and high pressures
Santra, Biswajit; Klimes, Jiri; Tkatchenko, Alexandre UL et al

in JOURNAL OF CHEMICAL PHYSICS (2013), 139(15),

Density-functional theory (DFT) has been widely used to study water and ice for at least 20 years. However, the reliability of different DFT exchange-correlation (xc) functionals for water remains a ... [more ▼]

Density-functional theory (DFT) has been widely used to study water and ice for at least 20 years. However, the reliability of different DFT exchange-correlation (xc) functionals for water remains a matter of considerable debate. This is particularly true in light of the recent development of DFT based methods that account for van der Waals (vdW) dispersion forces. Here, we report a detailed study with several xc functionals (semi-local, hybrid, and vdW inclusive approaches) on ice Ih and six proton ordered phases of ice. Consistent with our previous study [B. Santra, J. Klimes, D. Alfe, A. Tkatchenko, B. Slater, A. Michaelides, R. Car, and M. Scheffler, Phys. Rev. Lett. 107, 185701 (2011)] which showed that vdW forces become increasingly important at high pressures, we find here that all vdW inclusive methods considered improve the relative energies and transition pressures of the high-pressure ice phases compared to those obtained with semi-local or hybrid xc functionals. However, we also find that significant discrepancies between experiment and the vdW inclusive approaches remain in the cohesive properties of the various phases, causing certain phases to be absent from the phase diagram. Therefore, room for improvement in the description of water at ambient and high pressures remains and we suggest that because of the stern test the high pressure ice phases pose they should be used in future benchmark studies of simulation methods for water. (C) 2013 AIP Publishing LLC. [less ▲]

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