Local pair natural orbitals for excited states.

Research paper by Benjamin B Helmich, Christof C Hättig

Indexed on: 14 Dec '11Published on: 14 Dec '11Published in: The Journal of chemical physics


We explore how in response calculations for excitation energies with wavefunction based (e.g., coupled cluster) methods the number of double excitation amplitudes can be reduced by means of truncated pair natural orbital (PNO) expansions and localized occupied orbitals. Using the CIS(D) approximation as a test model, we find that the number of double excitation amplitudes can be reduced dramatically with minor impact on the accuracy if the excited state wavefunction is expanded in state-specific PNOs generated from an approximate first-order guess wavefunction. As for ground states, the PNO truncation error can also for excitation energies be controlled by a single threshold related to generalized natural occupation numbers. The best performance is found with occupied orbitals which are localized by the Pipek-Mezey localization. For a large test set of excited states we find with this localization that already a PNO threshold of 10(-8)-10(-7), corresponding to an average of only 40-80 PNOs per pair, is sufficient to keep the PNO truncation error for vertical excitation energies below 0.01 eV. This is a significantly more rapid convergence with the number doubles amplitudes than in domain-based local response approaches. We demonstrate that the number of significant excited state PNOs scales asymptotically linearly with the system size in the worst case of completely delocalized excitations and sub-linearly whenever the chromophore does not increase with the system size. Moreover, we observe that the flexibility of state-specific PNOs to adapt to the character of an excitation allows for an almost unbiased treatment of local, delocalized and charge transfer excited states.