High-dimensional neural network potentials for magnetic systems using spin-dependent atom-centered symmetry functions

M Eckhoff and J Behler, NPJ COMPUTATIONAL MATERIALS, 7, 170 (2021).

DOI: 10.1038/s41524-021-00636-z

Machine learning potentials have emerged as a powerful tool to extend the time and length scales of first-principles quality simulations. Still, most machine learning potentials cannot distinguish different electronic spin arrangements and thus are not applicable to materials in different magnetic states. Here we propose spin-dependent atom-centered symmetry functions as a type of descriptor taking the atomic spin degrees of freedom into account. When used as an input for a high- dimensional neural network potential (HDNNP), accurate potential energy surfaces of multicomponent systems can be constructed, describing multiple collinear magnetic states. We demonstrate the performance of these magnetic HDNNPs for the case of manganese oxide, MnO. The method predicts the magnetically distorted rhombohedral structure in excellent agreement with density functional theory and experiment. Its efficiency allows to determine the Neel temperature considering structural fluctuations, entropic effects, and defects. The method is general and is expected to be useful also for other types of systems such as oligonuclear transition metal complexes.

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