Computation of the Electronic Flux Density in the Born–Oppenheimer Approximation
Diestler, Dennis J. and Kenfack, Anatole and Manz, Jörn and Paulus, Beate and Pérez-Torres, Jhon F. and Pohl, Vincent – 2013
A molecule in the electronic ground state described in the Born–Oppenheimer approximation (BOA) by the wave function ΨBO = Φ0χ0 (where Φ0 is the time-independent electronic energy eigenfunction and χ0 is a time-dependent nuclear wave packet) exhibits a nonzero nuclear flux density, whereas it always displays zero electronic flux density (EFD), because the electrons are in a stationary state. A hierarchical approach to the computation of the EFD within the context of the BOA, which utilizes only standard techniques of quantum chemistry (to obtain Φ0) and quantum dynamics (to describe the evolution of χ0 on the ground-state potential energy surface), provides a resolution of this puzzling, nonintuitive result. The procedure is applied to H2+ oriented parallel with the z-axis and vibrating in the ground state 2Σg+. First, Φ0 and χ0 are combined by the coupled-channels technique to give the normally dominant z-component of the EFD. Imposition of the constraints of electronic continuity, cylindrical symmetry of Φ0 and two boundary conditions on the EFD through a scaling procedure yields an improved z-component, which is then used to compute the complementary orthogonal ρ-component. The resulting EFD agrees with its highly accurate counterpart furnished by a non-BOA treatment of the system.