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Minimizing the Time-Dependent Density Functional Error in Ehrenfest Dynamics

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posted on 31.08.2021, 20:08 by Lionel Lacombe, Neepa T. Maitra
Simulating electron–ion dynamics using time-dependent density functional theory within an Ehrenfest dynamics scheme can be done in two ways that are in principle exact and identical: propagating time-dependent electronic Kohn–Sham equations or propagating electronic coefficients on surfaces obtained from linear-response. We show here that using an approximate functional leads to qualitatively different dynamics in the two approaches. We argue that the latter is more accurate because the functionals are evaluated on domains close to the ground state where currently used approximations perform better. We demonstrate this on an exactly solvable model of charge transfer and discuss implications for time-resolved spectroscopy.