Exact Coulomb cutoff technique for supercell calculations

Carlo A. Rozzi*, Daniele Varsano, Andrea Marini, Eberhard K.U. Gross, Angel Rubio

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

377 Scopus citations


We present a reciprocal space analytical method to cut off the long range interactions in supercell calculations for systems that are infinite and periodic in one or two dimensions, generalizing previous work to treat finite systems. The proposed cutoffs are functions in Fourier space, that are used as a multiplicative factor to screen the bare Coulomb interaction. The functions are analytic everywhere except in a subdomain of the Fourier space that depends on the periodic dimensionality. We show that the divergences that lead to the nonanalytical behavior can be exactly canceled when both the ionic and the Hartree potential are properly screened. This technique is exact, fast, and very easy to implement in already existing supercell codes. To illustrate the performance of the scheme, we apply it to the case of the Coulomb interaction in systems with reduced periodicity (as one-dimensional chains and layers). For these test cases, we address the impact of the cutoff on different relevant quantities for ground and excited state properties, namely: the convergence of the ground state properties, the static polarizability of the system, the quasiparticle corrections in the GW scheme, and the binding energy of the excitonic states in the Bethe-Salpeter equation. The results are very promising and easy to implement in all available first-principles codes.

Original languageAmerican English
Article number205119
JournalPhysical Review B - Condensed Matter and Materials Physics
Issue number20
StatePublished - 2006
Externally publishedYes


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