Semiclassical Monte Carlo: A first principles approach to non-adiabatic molecular dynamics

Alexander J. White, Vyacheslav N. Gorshkov, Ruixi Wang, Sergei Tretiak, Dmitry Mozyrsky

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

15 Citations (Scopus)


Modeling the dynamics of photophysical and (photo)chemical reactions in extended molecular systems is a new frontier for quantum chemistry. Many dynamical phenomena, such as intersystem crossing, non-radiative relaxation, and charge and energy transfer, require a non-adiabatic description which incorporate transitions between electronic states. Additionally, these dynamics are often highly sensitive to quantum coherences and interference effects. Several methods exist to simulate non-adiabatic dynamics; however, they are typically either too expensive to be applied to large molecular systems (10's-100's of atoms), or they are based on ad hoc schemes which may include severe approximations due to inconsistencies in classical and quantum mechanics. We present, in detail, an algorithm based on Monte Carlo sampling of the semiclassical time-dependent wavefunction that involves running simple surface hopping dynamics, followed by a post-processing step which adds little cost. The method requires only a few quantities from quantum chemistry calculations, can systematically be improved, and provides excellent agreement with exact quantum mechanical results. Here we show excellent agreement with exact solutions for scattering results of standard test problems. Additionally, we find that convergence of the wavefunction is controlled by complex valued phase factors, the size of the non-adiabatic coupling region, and the choice of sampling function. These results help in determining the range of applicability of the method, and provide a starting point for further improvement.

Original languageEnglish
Article number184101
JournalJournal of Chemical Physics
Issue number18
Publication statusPublished - 14 Nov 2014
Externally publishedYes


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