Global optimization of atomic structures with gradient-enhanced Gaussian process regression

Friday 28 May 21
Determination of atomic structures is a key challenge in the fields of computational physics and materials science, as a large variety of mechanical, chemical, electronic, and optical properties depend sensitively on structure. Here, we present a global optimization scheme where energy and force information from density functional theory (DFT) calculations is transferred to a probabilistic surrogate model to estimate both the potential energy surface (PES) and the associated uncertainties. 

The local minima in the surrogate PES are then used to guide the search for the global minimum in the DFT potential. We find that adding the gradients in most cases improves the efficiency of the search significantly. The method is applied to global optimization of [Ta2O5]x clusters with x=1,2,3, and the surface structure of oxidized ZrN.

Sami Kaappa, Estefanía Garijo del Río, and Karsten Wedel Jacobsen

Phys. Rev. B 103, 174114

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