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Efficient Global Structure Optimization with a Machine-Learned Surrogate Model

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We propose a scheme for global optimization with first-principles energy expressions of atomistic structure. While unfolding its search, the method actively learns a surrogate model of the potential energy landscape on which it performs a number of local relaxations (exploitation) and further structural searches (exploration). Assuming Gaussian processes, deploying two separate kernel widths to better capture rough features of the energy landscape while retaining a good resolution of local minima, an acquisition function is used to decide on which of the resulting structures is the more promising and should be treated at the first-principles level. The method is demonstrated to outperform by 2 orders of magnitude a well established first-principles based evolutionary algorithm in finding surface reconstructions. Finally, global optimization with first-principles energy expressions is utilized to identify initial stages of the edge oxidation and oxygen intercalation of graphene sheets on the Ir(111) surface.

Original languageEnglish
Article number086102
JournalPhysical Review Letters
Number of pages6
Publication statusPublished - 2020

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