Metals at finite temperature: A modified smearing scheme

Matthieu Verstraete, Xavier Gonze

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

2 Citations (Scopus)


The specification of electronic eigenstate occupation numbers, in density-functional theory, has two purposes: simulating the canonical ensemble for the electrons at non-zero temperature (Fermi-Dirac occupation numbers), and improving the convergence with respect to the number of electronic wavevectors sampling the Brillouin zone. We describe a scheme which combines both, providing finite-temperature eigenstate occupations with an additional smearing to improve sampling convergence. We present the correction formula obtained for the free energy, and test the method on a small system of metallic aluminium for temperatures under 3000 K. In this regime, the Fermi-Dirac smearing alone gives only a modest reduction in the number of wavevectors needed for convergence.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)27-33
Number of pages7
JournalComputational Materials Science
Issue number1-2 SPEC ISS.
Publication statusPublished - 2004
Externally publishedYes


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