An analytical energy gradient formula for the density-matrix-based linear-scaling divide-and-conquer (DC) self-consistent field (SCF) method was proposed in a previous paper by Yang and Lee (YL) [J. Chem. Phys. 103, 5674 (1995)]. Since the formula by YL does not correspond to the exact gradient of the DC-SCF energy, we derive the exact formula by direct differentiation, which requires solving the coupled-perturbed equations while including the inter-subsystem coupling terms. Next, we present an alternative formula for approximately evaluating the DC-SCF energy gradient, assuming the variational condition for the subsystem density matrices. Numerical assessments confirmed that the DC-SCF energy gradient values obtained by the present formula are in reasonable agreement with the conventional SCF values when adopting a reliable buffer region. Furthermore, the performance of the present method was found to be better than that of the YL method.
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