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We present a new algorithm for quantum nonadiabatic molecular dynamics that combines the best features of Multiple Spawning (AIMS) and Multiconfigurational Ehrenfest (MCE) methods. In this new method, multiple cloning (AIMC), the individual trajectory basis functions (TBFs) follow Ehrenfest equations of motion (as in MCE). However, the basis set is expanded (as in AIMS) when these TBFs become sufficiently mixed, preventing prolonged evolution on an averaged potential energy surface. We refer to the expansion of the basis set as “cloning,” in analogy to the “spawning” procedure in AIMS. This synthesis of AIMS and MCE allows us to leverage the benefits of mean-field evolution during periods of strong nonadiabatic coupling while simultaneously avoiding mean-field artifacts in Ehrenfest dynamics. We explore the use of time-displaced basis sets, “trains,” as a means of expanding the basis set for little cost. We also introduce a new bra-ket averaged Taylor expansion (BAT) to approximate the necessary potential energy and nonadiabatic coupling matrix elements. The BAT approximation avoids the necessity of computing electronic structure information at intermediate points between TBFs, as is usually done in saddle-point approximations used in AIMS. The efficiency of AIMC is demonstrated on the nonradiative decay of the first excited state of ethylene. The AIMC method has been implemented within the AIMS-MOLPRO package, which was extended to include Ehrenfest basis functions.


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