Chen, X.; Qu, Z.; Suo, B.; Gao, J.. Journal of Computational Chemistry, 2020, 41, 1698–1708.
A self‐consistent Coulomb bath model is presented to provide an accurate and efficient way of performing calculations for interfragment electrostatic and polarization interactions. In this method, a condensed‐phase system is partitioned into molecular fragment blocks. Each fragment is embedded in the Coulomb bath due to other fragments. Importantly, the present Coulomb bath is represented using a density fitting method in which the electron densities of molecular fragments are fitted using an atom‐centered auxiliary basis set of Gaussian type. The Coulomb bath is incorporated into an effective Hamiltonian for each fragment, with which the electron density is optimized through an iterative double self‐consistent field (DSCF) procedure to realize the mutual many‐body polarization effects. In this work, the accuracy of interfragment interaction energies enumerated using the Coulomb bath is tested, showing a good agreement with the exact results from an energy decomposition analysis. The qualitative features of many‐body polarization effects are visualized by electron density difference plots. It is also shown that the present DSCF method can yield fast and robust convergence with near‐linear scaling in performance with increase in system size.