Electron correlation effects in small iron clusters

in Computing Letters
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We present results of first-principles calculations of structural, magnetic, and electronic properties of small Fe clusters. It is shown that, while the lowest-energy isomers of Fe3 and Fe4 obtained in the framework of density functional theory within the generalized gradient approximation (GGA) are characterized by Jahn-Teller-like distortions away from the most regular shapes (which is in agreement with other works), these distortions are reduced when electron correlation effects are considered explicitly as within the GGA+U approach. At the same time, the magnetic moments of the clusters are enhanced with respect to the pure GGA case, resulting in maximal moments (in the sense of Hund’s rules) of 4 μB per atom for the ground state structures of Fe3 and Fe4, and a total moment of 18 μB for Fe5. This already happens for moderate values of the Coulomb repulsion parameter 2.0 eV and is explained by changes in the electronic structures of the clusters.

Electron correlation effects in small iron clusters

in Computing Letters

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