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Non-self-consistent Density-Functional Theory Exchange-Correlation Forces for GGA Functionals

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posted on 2009-06-09, 00:00 authored by Antonio S. Torralba, David R. Bowler, Tsuyoshi Miyazaki, Michael J. Gillan
When using density functional theory (DFT), generalized gradient approximation (GGA) functionals are often necessary for accurate modeling of important properties of biomolecules, including hydrogen-bond strengths and relative energies of conformers. We consider the calculations of forces using non-self-consistent (NSC) methods based on the Harris−Foulkes expression for energy. We derive an expression for the GGA NSC force on atoms, valid for a hierarchy of methods based on local orbitals, and discuss its implementation in the linear scaling DFT code Conquest, using a standard (White−Bird) approach. We investigate the use of NSC structural relaxations before full self-consistent relaxations as a method for improving convergence. Example calculations for glycine and small alanine peptides suggest that NSC pre-relaxations of the structure are indeed useful to save computer effort and time.