Skip to content

The optic utility

Frequency dependent linear optical dielectric function and second order nonlinear optical susceptibility.

This file explains the i/o parameters needed for the calculation of the frequency dependent linear optical dielectric function and second order nonlinear optical susceptibility, in the RPA approximation (sum over states using independent electronic states) thanks to the Optic utility of the ABINIT package. The user is advised to be familiar with the main abinit help file before reading the present file.

A knowledge of the computation of the linear response d/dk perturbation, explained in the respfn help file, is also requested. Actually, a full understanding of the ABINIT treatment of perturbation (respfn) should NOT be requested in order to use Optic, but with the present ordering of the help files and tutorial, this is not obvious. In a future version, the tutorials and help files will be reorder and modified.

It will be easier to discover the present file with the help of the optic lesson.

1 Introduction

Optic allows to compute the frequency dependent linear optical dielectric function and second order nonlinear optical susceptibility. An introduction to such computations is given in the following paper:

The following are also very useful references:

Before going to the detailed explanation of the Optic utility, the user is advised to get familiar to the theory behind it, explained in these references. So, either you know this theory and you continue the tutorial, or you should stop the tutorial here, and read at least Ref. 1.

The specific purpose of the Optic utility is to read in the position matrix elements generated by ABINIT (also giving the momentum matrix elements), and then use Eq. 46 in Ref. 1 to determine the linear and Eqs. 49, 50 and 51 in Ref. 1 to determine the nonlinear optical response of the material under investigation.

2 How to run Optic?

The use of Optic is quite simple:

optic < optic.files > optic.log

where the optic.files file contains three information: the name of the input file, the name of an output file (actually unused), and the root name for all other output files. These input files will be described in the next section.

However, before being able to use Optic, you must have obtained, from the main abinit program, four different files, corresponding to the physical system that you want to study:

  • The ground state wavefunction file, indexed with _WFK

  • Three files containing the matrix elements of the position operator (or the derivative with respect to wavevector), one for each direction of space

Supposing you have read the main ABINIT help file, the production of the first file should not require any additional explanation. However, the way to obtain the matrix elements is worth explaining.

The long-wave method as well as the Berry-phase treatment of electric field, allow to establish the equivalence between the off-diagonal matrix elements of the position operator, and the off-diagonal matrix elements of the derivative with respect to the wavevector (d/dk), for the periodic part of the Bloch functions, see for example section VI of X. Gonze, Phys. Rev. B 55, 10337 (1997), or Nunes and Gonze, Phys. Rev. B 63, 155107 (2001), and references therein. Moreover, a straightforward relationship exists between these matrix elements, and the matrix elements of the momentum operator.

The main abinit program has the capability to compute derivatives of wavefunctions with respect to their wavevector. This is explained in the respfn help file. Such a calculation implies treating three d/dk perturbations, with numbers 3*natom+1, 3*natom+2 and 3*natom+3 (that is, for a unit cell with 2 atoms, perturbations number 7, 8 and 9). In the 2-atom case, the associated files needed for Optic have the index _1WF7 , _1WF8 , and _1WF9.

The formalism implemented in Optic treats explicitly the eigenstates lying in the range of energy between the lowest occupied wavefunction and the highest one plus the maximal excitation energy (chosen by the user). All the other ones are neglected. This has two important consequences for the preliminary runs:

  • The ground calculation must produce explicitly all the eigenstates and eigenvalues for that target range of energy, so it cannot be restricted to the occupied wavefunctions only

  • One does not need the full change of Bloch wavefunctions with respect to d/dk, but only the matrix elements between the wavefunctions of this range of energy

Because of the latter, the computation of the response to d/dk perturbations is much shorter than usual: indeed, the matrix elements between the explicitly ground-state wavefunctions are computed at the very beginning of the abinit(respfn) run. It is not worth to make a full calculation of the modification of the wavefunctions due to a change of wavevector.

3 Optic input file and input variables

A typical optic.files file is presented below:

optic.in     ! Name of input file
optic.out    ! Unused
optic        ! Root name for all files that will be produced

Please note that the format of input files for Optic has changed from Abinit v8.0 Since very few input parameters are required for Optic, the optic.in file contains them with the namelist format. The order of the three parts, namely FILES, PARAMETERS and COMPUTATIONS must be kept unaltered.

    &FILES
     ddkfile_1 = 'toptic_1o_DS4_1WF7',
     ddkfile_2 = 'toptic_1o_DS5_1WF8',
     ddkfile_3 = 'toptic_1o_DS6_1WF9',
     wfkfile = 'toptic_1o_DS3_WFK'
    /
    &PARAMETERS
     broadening = 0.002,
     domega = 0.0003,
     maxomega = 0.3,
     scissor = 0.000,
     tolerance = 0.002
    /
    &COMPUTATIONS
     num_lin_comp = 1,
     lin_comp = 11,
     num_nonlin_comp = 2,
     nonlin_comp = 123,222,
    /

The list of input variables for the optic input file is presented in the topics topic_Optic.

4 Optic output files

4.1. Linear optical response data files

Name: case_a_b-linopt.out
Contains the following 3 data sets

  • 1) Column 1 - energy(eV), column 2 - imaginary part of the ab component of the frequency dependent linear dielectric tensor.
  • 2) Column 1 - energy(eV), column 2 - real part of the ab component of the frequency dependent linear dielectric tensor.
  • 3) Column 1 - energy(eV), column 2 - absolute value of the ab component of the frequency dependent linear dielectric tensor.

In the header of the file you can find information about the calculation. Some results for GaAs(LiF???) are presented in this document to show what can be expected.

4.2. Non-linear optical response data files

Name: case_a_b_c-ChiKIND1.out
KIND1:This can be TotIm, TotRe or TotAbs
Contains: column 1 - energy(eV), column 2 and 3 - imaginary (KIND1=TotIm), real (KIND1=TotRe) or absolute (KIND1=TotAbs) value of the abc component of the nonlinear optical susceptibility. Second column contains values in electro-static units (esu) and third column contains values in the SI units.

Name: case_a_b_c-ChiKIND2.out
KIND2:This can be Im, Re or abs
Contains: column 1 - energy(eV), column 2, 3 inter and column 4, 5 intra band contributions to the imaginary (KIND2=Im), real (KIND2=Re) or absolute (KIND2=Abs) value of the abc component of the nonlinear optical susceptibility. These components are labeled as inter and intra in Eqs. 49-51 in Ref. 1.

All the values are in electro-static units (esu). In the header of all the above files you can find information about the calculation. Some results of nonlinear optical spectrum for GaAs(LiF???) are presented in this document to show what can be expected.

5 Troubleshooting

1) All I get is zeros in my *-linopt.out file. Why?

There are several possibilities.
Let us explore some of them here:

  • (i) The component of the dielectric tensor that you are looking at could be zero due to symmetry of the crystal. Normally zz component is a good place to start. It is almost never zero. So check the file case__0003_0003-linopt.out.

  • (ii) If the components zz is zero this is more serious, if you are using the default input file t57.in then please check that on the line number 10 the second number is 33. If you are not using the default input file please calculate the 33 (or zz) component and make sure it is not zero.

  • (iii) If even zz component is zero then possibilities are endless maximum frequency on line number 6 of t57.in is too small, or the number of bands used for performing ground state calculation are too small.

2) All I get is zeros in my *-ChiKIND.out file. Why?

Two most common mistakes are:

  • (i) You are calculating the second order response for material with inversion symmetry in this case all the components will be correctly zero or very small like 10-15.

  • (ii) Most components out of the 27 are zero due to the symmetry of the crystal. Please calculate a different component.