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Open Access Publications from the University of California

Efficient iterative method for solving the Dirac-Kohn-Sham density functional theory


We present for the first time an efficient iterative method to directly solve the four-component Dirac-Kohn-Sham (DKS) density functional theory. Due to the existence of the negative energy continuum in the DKS operator, the existing iterative techniques for solving the Kohn-Sham systems cannot be efficiently applied to solve the DKS systems. The key component of our method is a novel filtering step (F) which acts as a preconditioner in the framework of the locally optimal block preconditioned conjugate gradient (LOBPCG) method. The resulting method, dubbed the LOBPCG-F method, is able to compute the desired eigenvalues and eigenvectors in the positive energy band without computing any state in the negative energy band. The LOBPCG-F method introduces mild extra cost compared to the standard LOBPCG method and can be easily implemented. We demonstrate our method in the pseudopotential framework with a planewave basis set which naturally satisfies the kinetic balance prescription. Numerical results for Pt$_{2}$, Au$_{2}$, TlF, and Bi$_{2}$Se$_{3}$ indicate that the LOBPCG-F method is a robust and efficient method for investigating the relativistic effect in systems containing heavy elements.

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