*variable* `calculationMethod`

*Meaning*: Specifies the method of calculation

Possible values (characters):

USPEX — evolutionary algorithm for crystal structure prediction

META — evolutionary metadynamics

VCNEB — transition path determination using the variable-cell nudged elastic band method

PSO — corrected PSO algorithm

TPS — transition path sampling method (not yet released)

MINHOP — minima hopping method (not yet released)

COPEX — another new technique, to be released soon

*Default*: `USPEX`

*Format*:

`USPEX : calculationMethod`

*variable* `calculationType`

*Meaning*: Specifies type of calculation, *i.e.*, whether the structure of a bulk crystal, nanoparticle, or surface is to be predicted. This variable consists of three indices: *dimensionality*, *molecularity* and *compositional variability*:

dimensionality:

“3” — bulk crystals

“2” — surfaces, “–2” — 2D-crystals

“1” — polymers

“0” — nanoparticles

molecularity:

“0” — non-molecular

“1” — molecular calculations

variability of chemical composition in the calculation:

“0” — fixed composition

“1” — variable composition

*Default*: `300`

*Format*:

` 301 : calculationType `

**Note:** If `calculationType`=310, *i.e.*, a prediction for a molecular crystal is to be performed, then USPEX expects you to provide files `MOL_1`, `MOL_2`, …with molecular geometries for all types of molecules, and these molecules will be placed in the newly generated structures as whole objects. Available options: 300, 301, 310, 000, 200, 201, –200 (and not yet released: 110, 311).

*variable* `optType`

*Meaning*: This variable allows you to specify the property that you want to optimize.

Possible values (characters):

Value |
Number |
Description |

enthalpy |
1 |
to find the stable phases |

volume |
2 |
volume minimization |

(to find the densest structure) |
||

hardness |
3 |
hardness maximization |

(to find the hardest phase) |
||

struc_order |
4 |
maximization of the degree of order |

(to find the most ordered structure) |
||

aver_dist |
5 |
maximization of average structural differences within a |

generation |
||

diel_sus |
6 |
maximization of the static dielectric susceptibility |

(only for VASP and GULP) |
||

gap |
7 |
maximization of the band gap |

(only for VASP) |
||

diel_gap |
8 |
maximization of electrical energy storage capacity |

(only for VASP) |
||

mag_moment |
9 |
maximization of the magnetization |

(only for VASP) |
||

quasientropy |
10 |
maximization of structural quasientropy |

Elasticity-related properties (“11**”):

Value |
Number |
Description |

K, Bulk Modulus |
1101 |
maximization of bulk modulus |

G, Shear Modulus |
1102 |
maximization of shear modulus |

E, Young’s Modulus |
1103 |
maximization of Young’s modulus |

v, Poisson’s ratio |
1104 |
maximization of Poisson’s ratio |

G/K, Pugh’s modulus ratio |
1105 |
maximization of Pugh’s modulus ratio |

Hv, Vickers hardness |
1106 |
maximization of Vickers hardness |

Kg, Fracture toughness |
1107 |
maximization of fracture toughness |

D, Debye temperature |
1108 |
maximization of Debye temperature |

Vm, sound velocity |
1109 |
maximization of sound velocity |

S-wave velocity |
1110 |
maximization of S-wave velocity |

P-wave velocity |
1111 |
maximization of P-wave velocity |

**Note:** Elasticity-related properties are supported only for VASP (starting from VASP 5.1) and GULP. For VASP users, you need to add one more `INCAR_*` file to the `Specific/` folder with the parameters `IBRION`=6, `ISIF`3 and `NFREE`=4. The estimates of bulk, shear and Young’s moduli are the Voigh-Reuss-Hill (VRH) averages. The Vickers hardness is calculated with the Chen-Niu model ^{19}. Fracture toughness optimization uses the lowest theoretical fracture toughness as fitness.

*Default*: `enthalpy`

*Format*:

` enthalpy : optType`

**Notes:**

(1) If you want to do the opposite optimization, add a minus sign. For instance, to minimize the static dielectric constant, put “`-diel_sus`”.

(2) If `optType`=`gap` or `diel_gap`, instead of the gap we use an extended function that also behaves continuously for metals — namely, , where is the gap, is the density of states at the Fermi level (for metals) and is the number of atoms in the unit cell. Thanks to the continuity of this function, global maximization of gap-related quantities can even be performed for metallic solutions. For metals it is equal to the DOS at the Fermi level, for semiconductors and insulators — to the band gap.

Fig. 5 gives an example of hardness maximization for TiO (`optType`=hardness), showing maximum possible hardness 14 GPa ^{20} and refuting claims of Dubrovinsky (2001) about ultrahardness of TiO ^{21}. A good example of how a simple USPEX run can resolve a long-standing dispute.

Now, you need to specify what you know about the system.

*variable* `atomType`

*Meaning*: Describes the identities of each type of atom.

*Default*: `none, must specify explicitly`

*Format*:

`If you prefer to use the atomic numbers from Mendeleev’s Periodic Table of the Elements, specify:`

12 14 8

% EndAtomType

Or, if you prefer to use atomic names, specify:

`% atomType Mg Si O % EndAtomType `

You can alternatively specify the full names of the elements, for example:

`% atomType Magnesium Silicon Oxygen % EndAtomType `

*variable* `numSpecies`

*Meaning*: Describes the number of atoms of each type.

*Default*: `none, must specify explicitly`

*Format*:

`% numSpecies 4 4 12 % EndNumSpecies`

This means there are 4 atoms of the first type, 4 of the second type, and 12 of the third type.

**Notes:** For variable-composition calculations, you have to specify the compositional building blocks as follows:

`% numSpecies 2 0 3 0 1 1 % EndNumSpecies `

This means that the first building block has formula AC and the second building block has formula BC, where A, B and C are described in the block `atomType`. All structures will then have the formula AC + BC with , = (0,1,2,…) — or ABC. If you want to do prediction of all possible compositions in the A-B-C system, you should specify:

`% numSpecies 1 0 0 0 1 0 0 0 1 % EndNumSpecies `

You can also do fixed-composition calculations with a variable number of formula units; in this case set just one line (and `calculationType`=301), for example for compound ABC:

`% numSpecies 2 1 4 % EndNumSpecies `

*variable* `ExternalPressure`

*Meaning*: Specifies external pressure at which you want to find structures, in GPa.

*Default*: `0`

*Format*:

`100 : ExternalPressure`

**Note:** As of USPEX 9.4.1 pressure value (in GPa) is set by the tag `ExternalPressure` in the `INPUT.txt` file. Please NO LONGER specify it in relaxation files in the `Specific/` folder.

*variable* `valences`

*Meaning*: Describes the valences of each type of atom. Used only to evaluate bond hardnesses, which are used for computing the approximate dynamical matrix (for softmutation) and hardness of the crystal.

*Default*: `USPEX has a table of default valences (see Appendix 9.8). Beware, however, that for some elements ( e.g., N, S, W, Fe, Cr, etc.) many valence states are possible. Unless you calculate hardness, this is not a problem and you can use the default values. If you do calculate the hardness, you need to carefully specify the valence explicitly. `

*Format*:

`% valences 2 4 2 % EndValences `

*variable* `goodBonds`

*Meaning*: Specifes, in the matrix form, the minimum bond valences for contacts that will be considered as important bonds. Like the `IonDistances` matrix (see below), this is a square matrix cast in an upper-triangular form. This is only used in calculations of hardness and in softmutation. One can estimate these values for a given bond type taking `goodBonds`= or slightly smaller.

*Default*: `USPEX can make a reasonable default estimation of goodBonds, you will see the values in OUTPUT.txt file. This should be sufficient for most purposes, but for hardness calculations you may need to carefully examine these values and perhaps set them manually. For more details, see Appendix 9.9 `

*Format*:

`% goodBonds 10.0 10.0 0.2 0.0 10.0 0.5 0.0 0.0 10.0 % EndGoodBonds `

**Notes:** The dimensions of this matrix must be equal to either the number of atomic species or unity. If only one number is used, the matrix is filled with this number. The matrix above reads as follows: to be considered a bond, the Mg–Mg distance should be short enough to have bond valence of 10 or more, the same for Mg–Si, Si–Si, and O–O bonds (by using such exclusive criteria, we effectively disregard these interactions from the softmutation and hardness calculations), whereas Mg–O bonds that will be considered for hardness and softmutation calculations will have a bond valence of 0.2 or more, and the Si–O bonds will have a bond valence of 0.5 or more.

*variable* `checkMolecules`

*Meaning*: Switches on/off post-relaxation check that original molecules (files `MOL_1`, `MOL_2`, …) are intact. Useful for molecular crystals (`calculationType`=310, 311).

Possible values (integer):

0 — check is not performed, structures with broken or merged molecules are considered. (We strongly suggest users not to use this.)

1 — check is performed, all the structures with broken or merged molecules are discarded.

*Default*: `1`

*Format*:

`1 : checkMolecules`

*variable* `checkConnectivity`

*Meaning*: Switches on/off hardness calculation and connectivity-related criteria in softmutation.

Possible values (integer):

0 — connectivity is not checked, no hardness calculations;

1 — connectivity is taken into account, hardness is calculated.

*Default*: `0`

*Format*:

`1 : checkConnectivity`