Field theoretic approach to dynamical orbital localization in ab initio molecular dynamics

Jordan W. Thomas, Radu Iftimie, Mark E. Tuckerman

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Techniques from gauge-field theory are employed to derive an alternative formulation of the Car-Parrinello ab initio molecular-dynamics method that allows maximally localized Wannier orbitals to be generated dynamically as the calculation proceeds. In particular, the Car-Parrinello Lagrangian is mapped onto an SU(n) non-Abelian gauge-field theory and the fictitious kinetic energy in the Car-Parrinello Lagrangian is modified to yield a fully gauge-invariant form. The Dirac gauge-fixing method is then employed to derive a set of equations of motion that automatically maintain orbital locality by restricting the orbitals to remain in the “Wannier gauge.” An approximate algorithm for integrating the equations of motion that is stable and maintains orbital locality is then developed based on the exact equations of motion. It is shown in a realistic application (64 water molecules plus one hydrogen-chloride molecule in a periodic box) that orbital locality can be maintained with only a modest increase in CPU time. The ability to keep orbitals localized in an ab initio molecular-dynamics calculation is a crucial ingredient in the development of emerging linear scaling approaches.

Original languageEnglish (US)
JournalPhysical Review B - Condensed Matter and Materials Physics
Issue number12
StatePublished - Mar 18 2004

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Electronic, Optical and Magnetic Materials
  • Condensed Matter Physics


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