Classical interaction potentials for diverse materials from ab initio data: a review of potfit

P Brommer and A Kiselev and D Schopf and P Beck and J Roth and HR Trebin, MODELLING AND SIMULATION IN MATERIALS SCIENCE AND ENGINEERING, 23, 074002 (2015).

DOI: 10.1088/0965-0393/23/7/074002

Force matching is an established technique to generate effective potentials for molecular dynamics simulations from first-principles data. This method has been implemented in the open source code potfit. Here, we present a review of the method and describe the main features of the code. Particular emphasis is placed on the features added since the initial release: interactions represented by analytical functions, differential evolution as optimization method, and a greatly extended set of interaction models. Beyond the initially present pair and embedded-atom method potentials, potfit can now also optimize angular dependent potentials, charge and dipolar interactions, and electron- temperature-dependent potentials. We demonstrate the functionality of these interaction models using three example systems: phonons in type I clathrates, fracture of alpha-alumina, and laser-irradiated silicon.

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