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J Chem Phys. 2005 Sep 1;123(9):94102.

Towards accurate all-electron quantum Monte Carlo calculations of transition-metal systems: spectroscopy of the copper atom.

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  • 1Laboratoire de Physique Quantique, IRSAMC Université Paul Sabatier, 118 route de Narbonne, 31062 Toulouse Cedex, France.


In this work we present all-electron fixed-node diffusion Monte Carlo (FN-DMC) calculations of the low-lying electronic states of the copper atom and its cation. The states considered are those which are the most relevant for the organometallic chemistry of copper-containing systems, namely, the (2)S, (2)D, and (2)P electronic states of Cu and the (1)S ground state of Cu(+). We systematically compare our FN-DMC results to CCSD(T) calculations using very large atomic-natural-orbital-type all-electron basis sets. The FN-DMC results presented in this work provide, to the best of our knowledge, the most accurate nonrelativistic all-electron correlation energies for the lowest-lying states of copper and its cation. To compare our results to experimental data we include the relativistic contributions for all states through numerical Dirac-Fock calculations, which for copper (Z=29) provide almost the entire relativistic effects. It is found that the fixed-node errors using Hartree-Fock nodes for the lowest transition energies of copper and the first ionization potential of the atom cancel out within statistical fluctuations. The overall accuracy achieved with quantum Monte Carlo for the nonrelativistic correlation energy (statistical fluctuations of about 1600 cm(-1) and near cancelation of fixed-node errors) is good enough to reproduce the experimental spectrum when relativistic effects are included. These results illustrate that, despite the presence of the large statistical fluctuations associated with core electrons, accurate all-electron FN-DMC calculations for transition metals are nowadays feasible using extensive but accessible computer resources.

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