Dissociation of diatomic molecules and the exact-exchange Kohn-Sham potential: The case of LiF

Adi Makmal, Stephan Kümmel, Leeor Kronik

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36 Scopus citations


We examine the role of the exact-exchange (EXX) Kohn-Sham potential in curing the problem of fractional molecular dissociation. This is achieved by performing EXX calculations for the illustrative case of the LiF molecule. We show that by choosing the lowest-energy electronic configuration for each interatomic distance, a qualitatively correct binding energy curve, reflecting integer dissociation, is obtained. Surprisingly, for LiF this comes at the cost of violating the Aufbau principle, a phenomenon we discuss at length. Furthermore, we numerically confirm that in the EXX potential of the diatomic molecule, one of the atomic potentials is shifted by a constant while the other one is not, depending on where the highest occupied molecular orbital is localized. This changes the relative positions of the energies of each atom and enforces the integer configuration by preventing spurious charge transfer. The size of the constant shift becomes increasingly unstable numerically the larger the interatomic separation is, reflecting the increasing absence of coupling between the atoms.

Original languageEnglish
Article number062512
JournalPhysical Review A - Atomic, Molecular, and Optical Physics
Issue number6
StatePublished - 21 Jun 2011
Externally publishedYes


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