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IBRION some general comments (ISIF, POTIM)

For IBRION=1,2 and 3, the flag ISIF (see section 6.24) determines whether the ions and/or the cell shape is changed. Update of the cell shape is supported for molecular dynamics (IBRION=0) only if the dynamics module of Tomas Bucko (precompiler flag -Dtbdyn) is used.

Within all relaxation algorithms (IBRION=1,2 and 3) the parameter POTIM should be supplied in the INCAR file. For IBRION$ >$0, the forces are scaled internally before calling the minimization routine. Therefore for relaxations, POTIM has no physical meaning and serves only as a scaling factor. For many systems, the optimal POTIM is around 0.5. Because the Quasi-Newton algorithm and the damped algorithms are sensitive to the choice of this parameter, use IBRION=2, if you are not sure how large the optimal POTIM is.

In this case, the OUTCAR file and stdout will contain a line indicating a reliable POTIM. For IBRION=2, the following lines will be written to stdout after each corrector step (usually each odd step):

 trial: gam=  .00000 g(F)=   .152E+01 g(S)=  .000E+00 ort = .000E+00
 (trialstep = .82)
The quantity gam is the conjugation parameter to the previous step, g(F) and g(S) are the norm of the force respectively the norm of the stress tensor. The quantity ort is an indicator whether this search direction is orthogonal to the last search direction (for an optimal step this quantity should be much smaller than (g(F) + g(S)). The quantity trialstep is the size of the current trialstep. This value is the average step size leading to a line minimization in the previous ionic step. An optimal POTIM can be determined, by multiplying the current POTIM with the quantity trialstep.

After at the end of a trial step, the following lines are written to stdout:

                                                   
 trial-energy change:   -1.153185  1.order   -1.133   -1.527  -.739
 step:   1.7275(harm=  2.0557)  dis=  .12277  
                            next Energy= -1341.57 (dE= -.142E+01)
The quantity trial-energy change is the change of the energy in the trial step. The first value after 1.order is the expected energy change calculated from the forces ( $ ({\bf F}({\rm start})+ {\bf F}({\rm trial}))/2\times$ change of positions). The second and third value corresponds to $ {\bf F}({\rm start})\times$ change of positions and $ {\bf F}({\rm trial})\times$ change of positions. The first value in the second line is the size of the step leading to a line minimization along the current search direction. It is calculated from a third order interpolation formula using data form the start and trial step (forces and energy change). harm is the optimal step using a second order (or harmonic) interpolation. Only information on the forces is used for the harmonic interpolation. Close to the minimum both values should be similar. dis is the maximum distance moved by the ions in fractional (direct) coordinates. next Energy gives an indication how large the next energy should be (i.e. the energy at the minimum of the line minimization), dE is the estimated energy change.

The OUTCAR file will contain the following lines, at the end of each trial step:

 trial-energy change:   -1.148928  1.order   -1.126  -1.518  -.735
  (g-gl).g =  .152E+01      g.g   =  .152E+01  gl.gl    =  .000E+00
 g(Force)  =  .152E+01   g(Stress)=  .000E+00 ortho     =  .000E+00
 gamma     =    .00000
 opt step  =   1.72745  (harmonic =   2.05575) max dist = .12277085
 next E    = -1341.577507   (d E  =   1.42496)
The line trial-energy change was already discussed. g(Force) corresponds to g(F), g(Stress) to g(S), ortho to ort, gamma to gam. The values after gamma correspond to the second line (step: ...) previously described.


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N.B. Requests for support are to be addressed to: vasp.materialphysik@univie.ac.at