Studying the varied shapes of gold clusters by an elegant optimization algorithm that hybridizes the density functional tight-binding theory and the density functional theory

Tsung Wen Yen, Thong Leng Lim, Tiem Leong Yoon, S. K. Lai

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

17 Scopus citations

Abstract

We combined a new parametrized density functional tight-binding (DFTB) theory (Fihey et al. 2015) with an unbiased modified basin hopping (MBH) optimization algorithm (Yen and Lai 2015) and applied it to calculate the lowest energy structures of Au clusters. From the calculated topologies and their conformational changes, we find that this DFTB/MBH method is a necessary procedure for a systematic study of the structural development of Au clusters but is somewhat insufficient for a quantitative study. As a result, we propose an extended hybridized algorithm. This improved algorithm proceeds in two steps. In the first step, the DFTB theory is employed to calculate the total energy of the cluster and this step (through running DFTB/MBH optimization for given Monte-Carlo steps) is meant to efficiently bring the Au cluster near to the region of the lowest energy minimum since the cluster as a whole has explicitly considered the interactions of valence electrons with ions, albeit semi-quantitatively. Then, in the second succeeding step, the energy-minimum searching process will continue with a skilledly replacement of the energy function calculated by the DFTB theory in the first step by one calculated in the full density functional theory (DFT). In these subsequent calculations, we couple the DFT energy also with the MBH strategy and proceed with the DFT/MBH optimization until the lowest energy value is found. We checked that this extended hybridized algorithm successfully predicts the twisted pyramidal structure for the Au40 cluster and correctly confirms also the linear shape of C8 which our previous DFTB/MBH method failed to do so. Perhaps more remarkable is the topological growth of Aun: it changes from a planar (n =3–11) → an oblate-like cage (n =12–15) → a hollow-shape cage (n =16–18) and finally a pyramidal-like cage (n =19, 20). These varied forms of the cluster's shapes are consistent with those reported in the literature.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)143-149
Number of pages7
JournalComputer Physics Communications
Volume220
DOIs
StatePublished - Nov 2017

Keywords

  • Density functional theory
  • Metallic cluster
  • Optimization algorithm
  • Topological transition

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