Example: Localized Hole: N2+

Download ModStPot_N2+.run

This calculation illustrates:

  • How to specify the net total charge on a molecule
  • How to enforce breaking the symmetry that is present in the start-up situation, in this case to localize a hole in the electron density on one of the two equivalent atoms.
  • How to prevent the scf from oscillating back and forth between the two equivalent situations or from even restoring the unwanted symmetry
$ADFBIN/adf <<eor
title N2+  hole localization

N 0 0  -2.0
N 0 0   2.0

 Type DZP
 Core Small

symmetry C(lin)  ! allow symmetry breaking


Occupations   keeporbitals=3   &
  ! keeporbitals: let the density relax a bit, then fix the MO occups
  sigma 3 // 1 0 1
  pi    2 // 2

CHARGE  1  1   ! this duplicates info from "OCCUPATIONS" (check)

modifystartpotential  ! to break the symmetry in the start-up potential
N/1    0.5   0.5
N/2      4   1

end input

The purpose of this run is to compute the N2 + ion, with the hole localized on one of the atoms. In a very small system like N2 + this is a tricky thing to do. The program has a tendency towards the symmetric solution, with the hole delocalized. A few trial runs, just putting a net +1 charge into the system, will reveal that clearly.

To achieve the desired situation we apply the key modifystartpotential to break the symmetry of the initial potential. A potential is generated as if the electronic cloud in the second N fragment is spin-polarized in a ratio 4:1 (this precise value is not very relevant), which achieves that initially a non-symmetric solution is obtained. The symmetry must be specified, lest the program determine and use the higher symmetry from the nuclear frame. This would prevent any symmetry breaking altogether.

Next, in order to prevent that the system relaxes to the symmetric situation, we apply the keeporbitals option of the occupations key. This fixes the occupied orbitals in the sense that in each scf cycle the program will try to keep the electrons in orbitals that resemble the previously occupied orbitals as much as possible.

The key modifystartpotential here demonstrated has a more relevant and less unstable application in larger systems. See the User’s Guide for references.