When running time-dependent density functional theory (TDDFT) calculations for real-time simulations of non-equilibrium dynamics, the user has a choice of initial Kohn-Sham state, and typically a Slater determinant is used. We explore the impact of this choice on the exchange-correlation potential when the physical system begins in a 50:50 superposition of the ground and first-excited state of the system. We investigate the possibility of judiciously choosing a Kohn-Sham initial state that minimizes errors when adiabatic functionals are used. We find that if the Kohn-Sham state is chosen to have a configuration matching the one that dominates the interacting state, this can be achieved for a finite time duration for some but not all such choices. When the Kohn-Sham system does not begin in a Slater determinant, we further argue that the conventional splitting of the exchange-correlation potential into exchange and correlation parts has limited value, and instead propose a decomposition into a "single-particle" contribution that we denote vSxc, and a remainder. The single-particle contribution can be readily computed as an explicit orbital-functional, reduces to exchange in the Slater determinant case, and offers an alternative to the adiabatic approximation as a starting point for TDDFT approximations.
All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes
- General Physics and Astronomy
- Physical and Theoretical Chemistry