Solids from Time-Dependent Current DFT

  • P.L. de Boeij
Part of the Lecture Notes in Physics book series (LNP, volume 706)


The description of the ground state of crystalline systems within density functional theory, and of their response to external fields within the timedependent version of this theory, relies heavily on the use of periodic boundary conditions. As a model for the bulk part of the system one considers a large region containing N elementary unit cells. Then, while imposing constraints that ensure the single-valuedness and periodicity of the wave function at the boundary, one considers the limit of infinite N to derive properties for the macroscopic samples. In this treatment, one implicitly assumes that the Hohenberg-Kohn theorem [Hohenberg 1964] and the Kohn-Sham approach [Kohn 1965], and their time-dependent equivalents derived by Runge and Gross [Runge 1984], apply separately to the bulk part of the system. This implies that effects caused by density changes at the outer surface, which are artificially removed in this periodic boundary approach, can be neglected. However, this can not be justified as these effects are real. For example, when a real system is perturbed by an external electric field, there will be a macroscopic response: a current density will (momentarily) be induced in the bulk with a nonzero average. By virtue of the continuity relation, this uniform component corresponds to a density change at the outer surface, but not to a density change inside the bulk. The density change at the surface gives rise to a macroscopic screening field, which can not be described as a functional of the bulk density alone [Gonze 1995b, Gonze 1997b]. Implicit in the periodic boundary treatment of the density functional approach is therefore that the system remains macroscopically unpolarized: charges at the surfaces should be compensated and no uniform external field may be present. While these conditions can be met for the ground-state description, similar assumptions may become problematic in the time-dependent case, where charge may be exchanged between surface and bulk regions, and where the bulk may become polarized. For isotropic systems some of these difficulties can be circumvented within the density functional approach by making use of the relation between the density-density response function and the trace of the current-current response function [Onida 2002, Kim 2002b, Kim 2002a, Nozières 1999]. However, for anisotropic materials this relation does not provide enough information to extract all components of the screening field. The induced polarization


Bulk Region Static Dielectric Constant Bulk Part Density Functional Approach Hartree Potential 
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© Springer 2006

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  • P.L. de Boeij

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