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Person# Riccardo De Gennaro

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Density functional theory

Density-functional theory (DFT) is a computational quantum mechanical modelling method used in physics, chemistry and materials science to investigate the electronic structure (or nuclear structure) (

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Nicola Colonna, Riccardo De Gennaro, Edward Baxter Linscott, Nicola Marzari

Koopmans-compliant functionals provide an orbital-density-dependent framework for an accurate evaluation of spectral properties; they are obtained by imposing a generalized piecewise-linearity condition on the total energy of the system with respect to the occupation of any orbital. In crystalline materials, due to the orbitaldensity-dependent nature of the functionals, minimization of the total energy to a ground state provides a set of minimizing variational orbitals that are localized and thus break the periodicity of the underlying lattice. Despite this, we show that Bloch symmetry can be preserved and it is possible to describe the electronic states with a band-structure picture, thanks to the Wannier-like character of the variational orbitals. We also present a method to unfold and interpolate the electronic bands from supercell (r-point) calculations, which enables us to calculate full band structures with Koopmans-compliant functionals. The results obtained for a set of benchmark semiconductors and insulators show very good agreement with state-of-the-art many-body perturbation theory and experiments, underscoring the reliability of these spectral functionals in predicting band structures.

Nicola Colonna, Riccardo De Gennaro, Edward Baxter Linscott, Nicola Marzari

Koopmans spectral functionals aim to describe simultaneously ground-state properties and charged excitations of atoms, molecules, nanostructures, and periodic crystals. This is achieved by augmenting standard density functionals with simple but physically motivated orbital-density-dependent corrections. These corrections act on a set of localized orbitals that, in periodic systems, resemble maximally localized Wannier functions. At variance with the original, direct supercell implementation (Phys. Rev. X 2018, 8, 021051), we discuss here (i) the complex but efficient formalism required for a periodic boundary code using explicit Brillouin zone sampling and (ii) the calculation of the screened Koopmans corrections with density functional perturbation theory. In addition to delivering improved scaling with system size, the present development makes the calculation of band structures with Koopmans functionals straightforward. The implementation in the open-source Quantum ESPRESSO distribution and the application to prototypical insulating and semiconducting systems are presented and discussed.

Electronic-structure simulations have been impacting the study of materials properties thanks to the simplicity of density-functional theory, a method that gives access to the ground state of the system. Although very important, ground-state properties represent just part of the information, and often technological applications rely more on excited-state properties. In the context of density-functional theory, the latter are difficult to extract and one usually has to resort to more sophisticated approaches. In the last years, Koopmans spectral functionals have emerged as an effective method which combines the feasibility of density-functional theory with the accuracy of more complex methods, such as many-body perturbation theory. While retaining its simplicity, Koopmans functionals extend the domain of density-functional theory providing direct access to charged excitations, and ultimately to the photoemission spectra of materials. This approach has been extensively employed in finite systems, displaying an accuracy which is comparable to that of state-of-the-art many-body perturbation theory methods. In extended systems, calculations were bound to the supercell (Gamma-only) method, preventing the access to the full band structure of the system. In this work we overcome this limitation, proving that a band structure description of the energy spectrum is possible, and providing a scheme to carry out calculations in crystalline materials. The first result of this work consists in proving the compliance of Koopmans functionals with the translation symmetry of the system. The validity of Bloch's theorem, thus the possibility of describing the spectrum via a band structure picture, depends on this condition. Because of the orbital-density-dependent nature of the functional, the invariance of the total energy with respect to unitary transformations of the one-electron orbitals is broken. The energy is then minimized by a particular set of orbitals, called ``variational'', which are strongly localized in space. In extended periodic systems, the localized, thus non-periodic, character of the variational orbitals is inherited by the effective orbital-density-dependent Hamiltonians, which apparently break the translation symmetry of the system. Here we show that, by requiring the variational orbitals to be Wannier functions, the translation symmetry is preserved and Bloch's theorem holds. In the second part, we devise a scheme to unfold the band structure from supercell (Gamma-only) calculations, and reconstruct the k-dependence of the quasiparticle energies. This method is then used to compute the band structures of a set of benchmark semiconductors and insulators. Finally, we describe a novel formulation of Koopmans functionals for extended periodic systems, which exploits from the beginning the translation properties of Wannier functions to realize a primitive cell-based implementation of Koopmans functionals. Results obtained from this second approach are also discussed. In the last part, we present the preliminary study of impurity states arising in crystalline materials in the presence of point defects.