Influence of Pseudopotentials on Excitation Energies From Selected Configuration Interaction and Diffusion Monte Carlo

Abstract : Quantum Monte Carlo (QMC) methods have been applied very successfully to ground state properties but still remain generally less effective than other non-stochastic methods for electronically excited states. Nonetheless, we have recently reported accurate excitation energies for small organic molecules at the fixed-node diffusion Monte Carlo (FN-DMC) within a Jastrow-free QMC protocol relying on a deterministic and systematic construction of nodal surfaces using the selected configuration interaction (sCI) algorithm known as CIPSI (Configuration Interaction using a Perturbative Selection made Iteratively). Albeit highly accurate, these all-electron calculations are computationally expensive due to the presence of core electrons. One very popular approach to remove these chemically-inert electrons from the QMC simulation is to introduce pseudopotentials. However, such an approach inevitably introduces a bias due to the approximate nature of these pseudopotentials. Furthermore, an additional bias may be introduced in DMC due to the localization of nonlocal pseudopotentials. Taking the water molecule as an example, we investigate the influence of pseudopotentials on vertical excitation energies obtained with sCI and FN-DMC methods. Although pseudopotentials are known to be relatively safe for ground state properties, we evidence that special care is required if one strives for highly accurate vertical transition energies. Indeed, comparing all-electron and valence-only calculations, we show that the approximate nature of the pseudopotentials can induce errors as large as 0.1 eV on the excitation energies. While acceptable for most chemical applications, it might become unacceptable for benchmark studies.
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Contributor : Pierre-Francois Loos <>
Submitted on : Tuesday, April 2, 2019 - 10:41:17 PM
Last modification on : Friday, June 14, 2019 - 6:31:23 PM

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  • HAL Id : hal-02088494, version 1
  • ARXIV : 1904.00678


Anthony Scemama, Michel Caffarel, Anouar Benali, Denis Jacquemin, Pierre-François Loos. Influence of Pseudopotentials on Excitation Energies From Selected Configuration Interaction and Diffusion Monte Carlo. 2019. ⟨hal-02088494⟩



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