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Phys Rev Lett. 2013 Feb 8;110(6):065702. Epub 2013 Feb 5.

Nuclear quantum effects and nonlocal exchange-correlation functionals applied to liquid hydrogen at high pressure.

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Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory, Livermore, California 94550, USA.


Using first-principles molecular dynamics, we study the influence of nuclear quantum effects (NQEs) and nonlocal exchange-correlation density functionals (DFs) near molecular dissociation in liquid hydrogen. NQEs strongly influence intramolecular properties, such as bond stability, and are thus an essential part of the dissociation process. Moreover, by including DFs that account for either the self-interaction error or dispersion interactions, we find a much better description of molecular dissociation and metallization than previous studies based on classical protons and/or local or semilocal DFs. We obtain excellent agreement with experimentally measured optical properties along Hugoniot curves for precompressed states, and while we still find a first-order liquid-liquid transition at low temperatures, transition pressures are increased by more than 100 GPa.

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