A central challenge in high throughput density functional theory (HT-DFT) calculations is selecting a combination of input parameters and post-processing techniques that can be used across all materials classes, while also managing accuracy-cost tradeoffs. To investigate the effects of these parameter choices, we consolidate three large HT-DFT databases: Automatic-FLOW (AFLOW), the Materials Project (MP), and the Open Quantum Materials Database (OQMD), and compare reported properties across each pair of databases for materials calculated using the same initial crystal structure. We find that HT-DFT formation energies and volumes are generally more reproducible than band gaps and total magnetizations; for instance, a notable fraction of records disagree on whether a material is metallic (up to 7%) or magnetic (up to 15%). The variance between calculated properties is as high as 0.105 eV/atom (median relative absolute difference, or MRAD, of 6%) for formation energy, 0.65 Å3/atom (MRAD of 4%) for volume, 0.21 eV (MRAD of 9%) for band gap, and 0.15 μB/formula unit (MRAD of 8%) for total magnetization, comparable to the differences between DFT and experiment. We trace some of the larger discrepancies to choices involving pseudopotentials, the DFT+U formalism, and elemental reference states, and argue that further standardization of HT-DFT would be beneficial to reproducibility.
Vinay I. Hegde, Christopher K. H. Borg, Zachary del Rosario, Yoolhee Kim, Maxwell Hutchinson, Erin Antono, Julia Ling, Paul Saxe, James E. Saal, Bryce Meredig