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Convergence of an analytic bond-order potential for collinear magnetism in Fe

M. Ford, R. Drautz, T. Hammerschmidt, D. G. Pettifor.

Modelling and Simulation in Materials Science and Engineering, 22, 034005, (2014)

Analytic bond-order potentials (BOPs) for magnetic transition metals are applied for pure iron as described by an orthogonal d-valent tight-binding (TB) model. Explicit analytic equations for the gradients of the binding energy with respect to the Hamiltonian on-site levels are presented, and are then used to minimize the energy with respect to the magnetic moments, which is equivalent to a TB self-consistency scheme. These gradients are also used to calculate the exact forces, consistent with the energy, necessary for efficient relaxations and molecular dynamics. The Jackson kernel is used to remove unphysical negative densities of states, and approximations for the asymptotic recursion coefficients are examined. BOP, TB and density functional theory results are compared for a range of bulk and defect magnetic structures. The BOP energies and magnetic moments for bulk structures are shown to converge with increasing numbers of moments, with nine moments sufficient for a quantitative comparison of structural energy differences. The formation energies of simple defects such as the monovacancies and divacancies also converge rapidly. Other physical quantities, such as the position of the high-spin to low-spin transition in ferromagnetic fcc (face centred cubic) iron, surface peaks in the local density of states, the elastic constants and the formation energies of the self-interstitial atom defects, require higher moments for convergence.

Keyword(s): bond-order potentials; magnetism
DOI: 10.1088/0965-0393/22/3/034005
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