Transferable local pseudopotentials for magnesium, aluminum and silicon

Chen Huang, Emily A. Carter

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

106 Scopus citations


One obstacle in orbital-free density functional theory (OF-DFT) is the lack of accurate and transferable local pseudopotentials (LPSs). In this work, we build high quality LPSs by inverting Kohn-Sham (KS) equations on bulk valence electron densities to obtain an atom-centered local pseudopotential. With this approach, we build LPSs for Mg, Al, and Si, and then test them in KS DFT calculations of static bulk properties for several Mg, Al, and Si bulk structures as well as β″-Al3Mg. Our Mg, Al, and Si LPSs produce correct ground state properties and phase orderings. These LPSs are then tested in KS-DFT calculations of surface energies for several low-index Mg and Al surfaces, point defect properties in hexagonal-close-packed (hcp) Mg, face-centered cubic (fcc) Al, and diamond Si, and stacking fault energies in fcc Al. All of these LPS results agree quantitatively with the results from nonlocal pseudopotentials with errors less than or equal to 40 meV per atom. Finally, we perform OF-DFT calculations for various Mg and Al structures, employing the Wang-Govind-Carter (WGC) nonlocal kinetic energy density functional (KEDF). The OF-DFT results generally agree well with the corresponding KS-DFT results. With our new Mg and Al LPSs and the WGC KEDF, OF-DFT now provides a practical method for accurate, large-scale first principles simulations of main group metals and their alloys.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)7109-7120
Number of pages12
JournalPhysical Chemistry Chemical Physics
Issue number47
StatePublished - 2008

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • General Physics and Astronomy
  • Physical and Theoretical Chemistry


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