Optical properties of periodic systems within the current-current response framework: pitfalls and remedies

      Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

      • Davide Sangalli
      • J. A. Berger
      • Claudio Attaccalite
      • Myrta Gruening
      • Pina Romaniello

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      We compare the optical absorption of extended systems using the density-density and current-current linear response functions calculated within many-body perturbation theory. The two approaches are formally equivalent for a finite momentum q of the external perturbation. At q=0, however, the equivalence is maintained only if a small q expansion of the density-density response function is used. Moreover, in practical calculations, this equivalence can be lost if one naively extends the strategies usually employed in the density-based approach to the current-based approach. Specifically, we discuss the use of a smearing parameter or of the quasiparticle lifetimes to describe the finite width of the spectral peaks and the inclusion of electron-hole interaction. In those instances, we show that the incorrect definition of the velocity operator and the violation of the conductivity sum rule introduce unphysical features in the optical absorption spectra of three paradigmatic systems: silicon (semiconductor), copper (metal) and lithium fluoride (insulator). We then demonstrate how to correctly introduce lifetime effects and electron-hole interactions within the current-based approach.



      Original languageEnglish
      Article number155203
      JournalPhysical Review B (Condensed Matter)
      Journal publication date18 Apr 2017
      Issue number15
      StatePublished - 18 Apr 2017

      ID: 123801829