Accurate X-Ray Spectral Predictions: An Advanced Self-Consistent-Field Approach Inspired by Many-Body Perturbation Theory
Published Web Locationhttps://doi.org/10.1103/physrevlett.118.096402
Constrained-occupancy delta-self-consistent-field (ΔSCF) methods and many-body perturbation theories (MBPT) are two strategies for obtaining electronic excitations from first principles. Using the two distinct approaches, we study the O 1s core excitations that have become increasingly important for characterizing transition-metal oxides and understanding strong electronic correlation. The ΔSCF approach, in its current single-particle form, systematically underestimates the pre-edge intensity for chosen oxides, despite its success in weakly correlated systems. By contrast, the Bethe-Salpeter equation within MBPT predicts much better line shapes. This motivates one to reexamine the many-electron dynamics of x-ray excitations. We find that the single-particle ΔSCF approach can be rectified by explicitly calculating many-electron transition amplitudes, producing x-ray spectra in excellent agreement with experiments. This study paves the way to accurately predict x-ray near-edge spectral fingerprints for physics and materials science beyond the Bethe-Salpether equation.