Relativistic coupled-cluster and density-functional studies of argon at high pressure
AbstractThe equation of state P(V,T) for solid argon is determined by the calculation of accurate static and vibrational terms in the free energy. The static component comes from a quantum theoretical many-body expansion summing over all energetic contributions from two-, three-, and four-body fragments treated with relativistic coupled cluster theory, while the lattice vibrations are described at an anharmonic level including two- and three-body forces as well as temperature effects. The dynamic part is calculated within the Debye and Einstein approximation, as well as by a more accurate phonon treatment where the vibrational motions in the lattice are coupled. Our results are in good agreement with room-temperature high-pressure experimental data up to ∼20 GPa. In the 20–100 GPa pressure range, however, we see considerable deviations between experiment and theory, perhaps indicating missing four-body contributions (beyond the quadruple dipole terms included here), missing five and higher-body effects, and the need to go beyond the coupled cluster singles-doubles with perturbative triples treatment in such higher-body forces. This contrasts with the results for solid neon, where excellent agreement has been achieved taking only two- and three-body forces into account [P. Schwerdtfeger and A. Hermann, Phys. Rev. B 80, 064106 (2009)PRBMDO1098-012110.1103/PhysRevB.80.064106]. We demonstrate that the phase transition from fcc to hcp cannot account for the large discrepancies observed. Density functional calculations give very mixed results in the high-pressure region, but some functionals such as optB88-vdW (proposed by Lundqvist and co-workers) describe the many-body forces in argon reasonably well over the range of pressures investigated. Theoretical investigations of the heavier rare gas solids reaching experimental accuracy in the high-pressure regime therefore remain a significant challenge.