SciPost logo

Ab initio electron-lattice downfolding: Potential energy landscapes, anharmonicity, and molecular dynamics in charge density wave materials

Arne Schobert, Jan Berges, Erik G. C. P. van Loon, Michael A. Sentef, Sergey Brener, Mariana Rossi, Tim O. Wehling

SciPost Phys. 16, 046 (2024) · published 9 February 2024


The interplay of electronic and nuclear degrees of freedom presents an outstanding problem in condensed matter physics and chemistry. Computational challenges arise especially for large systems, long time scales, in nonequilibrium, or in systems with strong correlations. In this work, we show how downfolding approaches facilitate complexity reduction on the electronic side and thereby boost the simulation of electronic properties and nuclear motion-in particular molecular dynamics (MD) simulations. Three different downfolding strategies based on constraining, unscreening, and combinations thereof are benchmarked against full density functional calculations for selected charge density wave (CDW) systems, namely 1H-TaS$_2$, 1T-TiSe$_2$, 1H-NbS$_2$, and a one-dimensional carbon chain. We find that the downfolded models can reproduce potential energy surfaces on supercells accurately and facilitate computational speedup in MD simulations by about five orders of magnitude in comparison to purely ab initio calculations. For monolayer 1H-TaS$_2$ we report classical and path integral replica exchange MD simulations, revealing the impact of thermal and quantum fluctuations on the CDW transition.

Authors / Affiliations: mappings to Contributors and Organizations

See all Organizations.
Funders for the research work leading to this publication