The PSEUDODOJO: Training and grading a 85 element optimized norm-conserving pseudopotential table

M. J. van Setten*, M. Giantomassi, E. Bousquet, M. J. Verstraete, D. R. Hamann, X. Gonze, G. M. Rignanese

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleAcademicpeer-review


First-principles calculations in crystalline structures are often performed with a planewave basis set. To make the number of basis functions tractable two approximations are usually introduced: core electrons are frozen and the diverging Coulomb potential near the nucleus is replaced by a smoother expression. The norm-conserving pseudopotential was the first successful method to apply these approximations in a fully ab initio way. Later on, more efficient and more exact approaches were developed based on the ultrasoft and the projector augmented wave formalisms. These formalisms are however more complex and developing new features in these frameworks is usually more difficult than in the norm-conserving framework. Most of the existing tables of norm-conserving pseudopotentials, generated long ago, do not include the latest developments, are not systematically tested or are not designed primarily for high precision. In this paper, we present our PSEUDODOJO framework for developing and testing full tables of pseudopotentials, and demonstrate it with a new table generated with the ONCVPSP approach. The PSEUDODOJO is an open source project, building on the ABIPY package, for developing and systematically testing pseudopotentials. At present it contains 7 different batteries of tests executed with ABINIT, which are performed as a function of the energy cutoff. The results of these tests are then used to provide hints for the energy cutoff for actual production calculations. Our final set contains 141 pseudopotentials split into a standard and a stringent accuracy table. In total around 70,000 calculations were performed to test the pseudopotentials. The process of developing the final table led to new insights into the effects of both the core-valence partitioning and the non-linear core corrections on the stability, convergence, and transferability of norm-conserving pseudopotentials. The PSEUDODOJO hence provides a set of pseudopotentials and general purpose tools for further testing and development, focusing on highly accurate calculations and their use in the development of ab initio packages. The pseudopotential files are available on the PSEUDODOJO web-interface under the name NC (ONCVPSP) v0.4 in the psp8, UPF2, and PSML 1.1 formats. The webinterface also provides the inputs, which are compatible with the 3.3.1 and higher versions of ONCVPSP. All tests have been performed with ABINIT 8.4.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)39-54
Number of pages16
JournalComputer Physics Communications
Publication statusPublished - May 2018
Externally publishedYes


  • Density functional theory
  • Electronic structure
  • First-principles calculation
  • Pseudopotential


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