## Abstract

In this work, we extend the selected columns of the density matrix (SCDM) methodology [J. Chem. Theory Comput. 2015, 11, 1463-1469]─a non-iterative and real-space procedure for generating localized occupied orbitals for condensed-phase systems─to the construction of local molecular orbitals (LMOs) in systems described using non-orthogonal atomic orbital (AO) basis sets. In particular, we introduce three different theoretical and algorithmic variants of SCDM (referred to as SCDM-M, SCDM-L, and SCDM-G) that can be used in conjunction with the AO basis sets used in standard quantum chemistry codebases. The SCDM-M and SCDM-L variants are based on a pivoted QR factorization of the Mulliken and Löwdin representations of the density matrix and are tantamount to selecting a well-conditioned set of projected atomic orbitals (PAOs) and projected (symmetrically-) orthogonalized atomic orbitals, respectively, as proto-LMOs that can be orthogonalized to exactly span the occupied space. The SCDM-G variant is based on a real-space (grid) representation of the wavefunction, and therefore has the added flexibility of considering a large number of grid points (or δ functions) when selecting a set of well-conditioned proto-LMOs. A detailed comparative analysis across molecular systems of varying size, dimensionality, and saturation level reveals that the LMOs generated by these three non-iterative/direct SCDM variants are robust, comparable in orbital locality to those produced with the iterative Boys or Pipek-Mezey (PM) localization schemes, and completely agnostic toward any single orbital locality metric. Although all three SCDM variants are based on the density matrix, we find that the character of the generated LMOs can differ significantly between SCDM-M, SCDM-L, and SCDM-G. In this regard, only the grid-based SCDM-G procedure (like PM) generates LMOs that qualitatively preserve σ-π symmetry (in systems such as s-trans alkenes), and are well-aligned with chemical (i.e., Lewis structure) intuition. While the direct and standalone use of SCDM-generated LMOs should suffice for most chemical applications, our findings also suggest that the use of these orbitals as an unbiased and cost-effective (initial) guess also has the potential to improve the convergence of iterative orbital localization schemes, in particular for large-scale and/or pathological molecular systems.

Original language | English (US) |
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Pages (from-to) | 8572-8586 |

Number of pages | 15 |

Journal | Journal of Chemical Theory and Computation |

Volume | 19 |

Issue number | 23 |

DOIs | |

State | Published - Dec 12 2023 |

Externally published | Yes |

### Bibliographical note

Publisher Copyright:© 2023 American Chemical Society

## PubMed: MeSH publication types

- Journal Article