Density matrix embedding: A strong-coupling quantum embedding theory

Gerald Knizia, Garnet Kin Lic Chan

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

201 Scopus citations


We extend our density matrix embedding theory (DMET) [Phys. Rev. Lett.2012, 109, 186404] from lattice models to the full chemical Hamiltonian. DMET allows the many-body embedding of arbitrary fragments of a quantum system, even when such fragments are open systems and strongly coupled to their environment (e.g., by covalent bonds). In DMET, empirical approaches to strong coupling, such as link atoms or boundary regions, are replaced by a small, rigorous quantum bath designed to reproduce the entanglement between a fragment and its environment. We describe the theory and demonstrate its feasibility in strongly correlated hydrogen ring and grid models; these are not only beyond the scope of traditional embeddings but even challenge conventional quantum chemistry methods themselves. We find that DMET correctly describes the notoriously difficult symmetric dissociation of a 4 × 3 hydrogen atom grid, even when the treated fragments are as small as single hydrogen atoms. We expect that DMET will open up new ways of treating complex strongly coupled, strongly correlated systems in terms of their individual fragments.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)1428-1432
Number of pages5
JournalJournal of Chemical Theory and Computation
Issue number3
StatePublished - Mar 12 2013

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Computer Science Applications
  • Physical and Theoretical Chemistry


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