Direct Determination of Optimal Real-Space Orbitals for Correlated Electronic Structure of Molecules

TitleDirect Determination of Optimal Real-Space Orbitals for Correlated Electronic Structure of Molecules
Publication TypeJournal Article
Year of Publication2023
AuthorsValeev, E. F., R. J. Harrison, A. A. Holmes, C. C. Peterson, and D. A. Penchoff
JournalJournal of Chemical Theory and Computation
Pagination7230 - 7241
Date Published2023-10

We demonstrate how to determine numerically nearly exact orthonormal orbitals that are optimal for the evaluation of the energy of arbitrary (correlated) states of atoms and molecules by minimization of the energy Lagrangian. Orbitals are expressed in real space using a multiresolution spectral element basis that is refined adaptively to achieve the user-specified target precision while avoiding the ill-conditioning issues that plague AO basis set expansions traditionally used for correlated models of molecular electronic structure. For light atoms, the orbital solver, in conjunction with a variational electronic structure model [selected Configuration Interaction (CI)] provides energies of comparable precision to a state-of-the-art atomic CI solver. The computed electronic energies of atoms and molecules are significantly more accurate than the counterparts obtained with the orbital sets of the same rank expanded in Gaussian AO bases, and can be determined even when linear dependence issues preclude the use of the AO bases. It is feasible to optimize more than 100 fully correlated numerical orbitals on a single computer node, and significant room exists for additional improvement. These findings suggest that real-space orbital representations might be the preferred alternative to AO representations for high-end models of correlated electronic states of molecules and materials.

Short TitleJ. Chem. Theory Comput.
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