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Title:High-accuracy electronic structure quantum Monte Carlo for molecular systems
Author(s):Torelli, Tommaso
Doctoral Committee Chair(s):Ceperley, David M.
Department / Program:Physics
Subject(s):Quantum Monte Carlo methods
quantum many-body problems
molecular systems
Abstract:Quantum Monte Carlo (QMC) is one of the most promising methods for solving quantum many-body problems. QMC combines known analytical properties of wave functions, results from other methods, and stochastic techniques, into a powerful tool for investigation of the electronic structure of real materials. Furthermore, the method has a favorable scaling ( O[N3] in the number of electrons), perfect scalability on parallel architectures, and can be applied to a wide range of systems. Our work has focused both on expanding the capabilities of QMC for calculation of quantities beyond energies, such as interatomic forces, and on application of the method to challenging problems in nanostructure materials research. For the calculation of interatomic forces we have implemented a finite difference correlated sampling method. The correlated sampling enables us to avoid the problem of statistical noise in evaluating the energy differences and allows us to obtain forces with an average 1% error. We have analyzed the effect of the method's main approximations on the estimate of the forces, both by theoretical arguments and by performing a variety of tests on small systems. Furthermore, we have used this newly developed method for estimating equilibrium geometries in a problem where other methods have failed. QMC enabled us to treat the electron correlation effects with high accuracy and to provide accurate predictions in a number of interesting applications. In particular, for carbon rings of C4N+2 stoichiometry we have resolved a long-standing problem regarding the competition between the aromaticity and second order Jahn-Teller effects. We have found that the dominant mechanism at small and intermediate sizes, which stabilizes the bond angle and bond length alternated geometries, is the secondorder Jahn-Teller effect while the aromatic isomer is always found to be a transition state. These high accuracy calculations which have involved multi-reference wave functions, extensive variational optimizations, and the use of massively parallel platforms demonstrate clearly the unique capabilities of the QMC approach.
Issue Date:2001
Genre:Dissertation / Thesis
Other Identifier(s):4377262
Rights Information:©2001 Torelli
Date Available in IDEALS:2012-06-05

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