Structural Properties of Transition Metal Clusters Via Force-Based Monte Carlo and Ab Initio Calculations: A Comparative Study

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Physics and Astronomy


Mathematics and Natural Sciences


We present a force-biased Monte Carlo (FMC) method for structural modeling of the transition-metal clusters of Fe, Ni, and Cu with sizes of 13, 30, and 55 atoms. By employing the Finnis-Sinclair potential for Fe and the Sutton-Chen potential for Ni and Cu, the total energy of the clusters is minimized using the local gradient of the potentials in Monte Carlo simulations. The structural configurations of the clusters, obtained from the biased Monte Carlo approach, are analyzed and compared with the same configurations from the Cambridge Cluster Database (CCD) upon relaxation of the clusters using the first-principles density-functional code nwchem. The results show that the total-energy value and the structure of the FMC clusters are essentially identical to the corresponding value and the structure of the CCD clusters. A comparison of the nwchem-relax FMC and CCD structures is presented by computing the pair-correlation function, the bond-angle distribution, the coordination number of the first-coordination shell, and the Steinhardt bond-orientational order parameter, which provide information about the two- and three-body correlation functions, the local bonding environment of the atoms, and the geometry of the clusters. An atom-by-atom comparison of the FMC and CCD clusters is also provided by superposing one set of clusters onto another, and the electronic properties of the clusters are addressed by computing the density of electronic states.

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Physical Review B



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