1. Density of states

Besides the band structure, the density of states (DOS) also provides a direct view on the electronic structure of a material. It is easy to construct it from a DFT calculation.

1.1. Density of states for Si

We perform our first DOS calculations for Si. This starts by obtaining a self-consistent density with an 8x8x8 k point mesh

<kPointMesh nx="8" ny="8" nz="8" gamma="F"/>

as it is typically generated with the default parameters (also use the other default parameters). We construct three different density of states on top of this calculation. Consider creating subfolders for each of them and copy the results (including the cdn.hdf file) of your self-consistent calculation in each of them.

To construct a DOS the inp.xml file has to be modified:

  1. output/@dos has to be set tu "T".

  2. output/densityOfStates/@ndir has to be set to "-1".

The other XML attributes in output/densityOfStates have the following use: With minEnergy and maxEnergy the energy window for the DOS is specified, with sigma one defines a broadening for each state to obtain a smooth result. By default sigma is 0.015. The three different DOS calculations will use different values for sigma: 0.015, 0.005, 0.0015

Perform the three different DOS calculations on top of the already converged result. The calculations will generate a DOS.1 file, where the "1" relates to the spin. In spin-polarized calculations also a DOS.2 file will be generated (and for bandstructure calculations a bands.2 file). The DOS.1 file is a readable text file with several columns. The first colum defines an energy mesh. The second column is the total DOS and afterwards there are multiple columns for the projection of the DOS onto certain regions in the unit cell and onto certain orbital characters around each atom. A detailed description is available in the respective documentation page for the DOS.x file. We are interested in the energy mesh, the total DOS, and the s (column 7) and p (column 8) projections at the Si atoms. It may also be interesting to plot the DOS in the interstitial region (column 3).

Generate for each of the three calculations single plots for total DOS, s-, and p-projected DOS. The plots should feature on the y axis the energy and on the x axis the DOS. In combination with a bandstructure plot you can partially relate certain bands to the respective orbital character. Comparing the plots with each other you should see results strongly differing with respect to the local Gaussian averaging according to the specified sigma parameter. Obviously it is crucial to find a sigma that provides a good balance between a smoothing of the curves and a preservation of the features of the electronic structure.

Of course, besides the sigma the smoothness of the curves also depends on the k point set. After all the density of states is obtained on the basis of the eigenstates at each k point. The Gaussian averaging is needed because the k point mesh is not infinitely dense. For the smallest sigma (0.0015) we will therefore also test other k point sets. It should be enough if this is performed on top of the already obtained self-consistent density for the coarser k point mesh. Test

<kPointMesh nx="23" ny="23" nz="23" gamma="F"/>


<kPointMesh nx="47" ny="47" nz="47" gamma="F"/>

for the DOS calculation. How does it affect the result, how does it affect the computational demands?

2. Exercises

2.1. Band structure and DOS of a monatomic Cu wire (van Hove singularities)

Experimentalists are capable of producing monatomic wires of certain chemical elements, either on some substrate or free standing wires obtained with break junctions or by pulling scanning tunneling microscope (STM) tips out of a sample. For each energy the conductivity along such a wire is limited by the conductance quantum times the number of bands at the respective energy. Calculating the band structure of such a system therefore provides direct information on its ballistic electron transport properties.

We perform band structure and density of states calculations for a monatomic Cu wire. For this we set up a tetragonal unit cell with lattice parameters that provide a wide vacuum in two dimensions and the nearest neighbor distance between adjacent Cu atoms in the third dimension. Use and . For the self-consistent density calculation use a k point set of

<kPointMesh nx="1" ny="1" nz="201" gamma="F"/>

For the band structure calculation we explicitly provide the k point path by specifying "special k points" along the path:

<kPointCount count="200" gamma="F">
<specialPoint name="g">0.0 0.0 0.0</specialPoint>
<specialPoint name="X">0.0 0.0 0.5</specialPoint>

For the DOS calculation we use a very fine k point mesh such that the expected van Hove singularities at the band edges can easily be identified:

<kPointMesh nx="1" ny="1" nz="7001" gamma="F"/>

The number of energy mesh points for the DOS is fixed. As a consequence it is a good idea to refine the upper and lower limits of this mesh such that the mesh is not too coarse for our needs. Find out the Fermi energy obtained for the self-consistent density (grep -i fermi out) and adjust the energy window such that it only covers the interesting part of the band structure, e.g., from 0.1 Htr below the Fermi energy to 0.2 Htr above the Fermi energy. The sigma parameter should also be very small. Choose 0.0003.

Plot the "total DOS" (column 2), the s- (column 7), and the d-projected (column 9) DOS. The van Hove singularities schould nicely be visible on every lower and upper band edge. Why is the s-projected DOS so much smaller than the d-projected DOS?