Kononov, Alina K.; Lee, Cheng-Wei L.; Pereira dos Santos, Tatiane P.; Robinson, Brian R.; Yao, Yifan Y.; Yao, Yi Y.; Andrade, Xavier A.; Baczewski, Andrew D.; Constantinescu, Emil C.; Correa, Alfredo C.; Kanai, Yosuke K.; Modine, N.A.; Schleife, Andre S.
Due to a beneficial balance of computational cost and accuracy, real-time time-dependent density-functional theory has emerged as a promising first-principles framework to describe electron real-time dynamics. Here we discuss recent implementations around this approach, in particular in the context of complex, extended systems. Results include an analysis of the computational cost associated with numerical propagation and when using absorbing boundary conditions. We extensively explore the shortcomings for describing electron-electron scattering in real time and compare to many-body perturbation theory. Modern improvements of the description of exchange and correlation are reviewed. In this work, we specifically focus on the Qb@ll code, which we have mainly used for these types of simulations over the last years, and we conclude by pointing to further progress needed going forward.
The extreme sensitivity of 2D materials to defects and nanostructure requires precise imaging techniques to verify presence of desirable and absence of undesirable features in the atomic geometry. Helium-ion beams have emerged as a promising materials imaging tool, achieving up to 20 times higher resolution and 10 times larger depth-of-field than conventional or environmental scanning electron microscopes. Here, we offer first-principles theoretical insights to advance ion-beam imaging of atomically thin materials by performing real-time time-dependent density functional theory simulations of single impacts of 10–200 keV light ions in free-standing graphene. Here we predict that detecting electrons emitted from the back of the material (the side from which the ion exits) would result in up to three times higher signal and up to five times higher contrast images, making 2D materials especially compelling targets for ion-beam microscopy. This predicted superiority of exit-side emission likely arises from anisotropic kinetic emission. The charge induced in the graphene equilibrates on a sub-fs time scale, leading to only slight disturbances in the carbon lattice that are unlikely to damage the atomic structure for any of the beam parameters investigated here.
Predictive design of REHEDS experiments with radiation-hydrodynamic simulations requires knowledge of material properties (e.g. equations of state (EOS), transport coefficients, and radiation physics). Interpreting experimental results requires accurate models of diagnostic observables (e.g. detailed emission, absorption, and scattering spectra). In conditions of Local Thermodynamic Equilibrium (LTE), these material properties and observables can be pre-computed with relatively high accuracy and subsequently tabulated on simple temperature-density grids for fast look-up by simulations. When radiation and electron temperatures fall out of equilibrium, however, non-LTE effects can profoundly change material properties and diagnostic signatures. Accurately and efficiently incorporating these non-LTE effects has been a longstanding challenge for simulations. At present, most simulations include non-LTE effects by invoking highly simplified inline models. These inline non-LTE models are both much slower than table look-up and significantly less accurate than the detailed models used to populate LTE tables and diagnose experimental data through post-processing or inversion. Because inline non-LTE models are slow, designers avoid them whenever possible, which leads to known inaccuracies from using tabular LTE. Because inline models are simple, they are inconsistent with tabular data from detailed models, leading to ill-known inaccuracies, and they cannot generate detailed synthetic diagnostics suitable for direct comparisons with experimental data. This project addresses the challenge of generating and utilizing efficient, accurate, and consistent non-equilibrium material data along three complementary but relatively independent research lines. First, we have developed a relatively fast and accurate non-LTE average-atom model based on density functional theory (DFT) that provides a complete set of EOS, transport, and radiative data, and have rigorously tested it against more sophisticated first-principles multi-atom DFT models, including time-dependent DFT. Next, we have developed a tabular scheme and interpolation methods that compactly capture non-LTE effects for use in simulations and have implemented these tables in the GORGON magneto-hydrodynamic (MHD) code. Finally, we have developed post-processing tools that use detailed tabulated non-LTE data to directly predict experimental observables from simulation output.