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Parametrization protocol and refinement strategies for accurate and transferable analytic bond-order potentials: Application to Re
Interatomic potentials provide a means to simulate extended length and time scales that are outside the reach of ab initio calculations. The development of an interatomic potential for a particular material requires the optimization of the parameters of the functional form of the potential. We present a parametrization protocol for analytic bond-order potentials (BOPs) that provides a physically transparent and computationally efficient description of the interatomic interaction. The parametrization protocol of the BOP follows the derivation of the BOP along the coarse-graining of the electronic structure from density-functional theory (DFT) to the tight-binding (TB) bond model to analytic BOPs. In particular, it starts from TB parameters that are obtained by downfolding DFT eigenstates of two-atomic molecules to an sd-valent minimal basis. This sd-valent Hamiltonian is combined with a pairwise repulsion to obtain an initial binding energy relation. The s electrons are then removed from the Hamiltonian and instead represented by an isotropic embedding term. In the final step, the parameters of the remaining d−d interaction, the pair repulsion, and the embedding term are optimized simultaneously. We demonstrate that the application of this parametrization protocol leads to a basic BOP for Re with good transferability. We discuss different strategies to refine the basic BOP towards global transferability or towards local accuracy. We demonstrate that homogeneous samplings of the structural phase space in a map of local atomic environments can be used to systematically increase the global transferability. We also demonstrate the influence of training data weighting on local accuracy refinements with a Pareto-front analysis, and we suggest further requirements to select a final BOP. The local accuracy and global transferability of the final BOP is also shown and compared to DFT.