Diagrammatic theories of anharmonic molecular vibrations

M. Atthew R. Hermes, So Hirata

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


In this review, we summarise recent developments in our laboratory in the field of many-body quantum-mechanical calculations of the anharmonic vibrational structure of molecules. Our size-extensive vibrational self-consistent field (XVSCF) and size-extensive second-order many-body perturbation (XVMP2) methods are, unlike their parent methods (VSCF and VMP2), defined in diagrammatic formulations of the energies and Dyson self-energies, leading to manifestly size-consistent expressions for zero-point energies and anharmonic vibrational frequencies calculable with much greater efficiency. The effective one-mode potentials of XVSCF are quadratic and hence the Schrödinger equation for each mode can be solved analytically, unlike VSCF, where a basis-set expansion of wave functions on more complex one-mode potentials need to be performed; VSCF potentials and their minima (anharmonic geometry) are shown to reduce to the quadratic potentials and their minima (also given analytically) of XVSCF in the thermodynamic limit. By self-consistently solving the Dyson equation with frequency-dependent self-energies, XVMP2 has the ability to calculate anharmonic frequencies of fundamentals as well as combinations and overtones in the presence of strong anharmonic resonance without a multireference or quasi-degenerate formulation, which tends to be non-size-consistent.To eliminate the computational bottleneck of XVSCF and XVMP2, which is the high-rank force-constant evaluation, we have developed alternative algorithms in which the diagrammatic equations are recast as a small number of high-dimensional integrals and then evaluated stochastically using a Metropolis Monte Carlo (MC) method. These MC-XVSCF and MC-XVMP2 methods not only remove the need for force-constant evaluation or storage, but also take into account force constants of up to infinite order according to their importance. They are a new branch of quantum Monte Carlo which can calculate frequencies (excitation energies) directly without fixed-node errors.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)71-97
Number of pages27
JournalInternational Reviews in Physical Chemistry
Issue number1
StatePublished - Jan 1 2015


  • Anharmonic vibrations
  • Diagrams
  • Dyson equation
  • Monte Carlo

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Physical and Theoretical Chemistry


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