Accurate harmonic vibrational frequencies for diatomic molecules via quantum computing

Research output: Journal Publications and ReviewsRGC 21 - Publication in refereed journalpeer-review

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  • Shih-Kai Chou
  • Jyh-Pin Chou
  • Alice Hu
  • Yuan-Chung Cheng
  • Hsi-Sheng Goan


Original languageEnglish
Article number043216
Journal / PublicationPhysical Review Research
Issue number4
Online published8 Dec 2023
Publication statusPublished - Dec 2023



During the noisy intermediate-scale quantum (NISQ) era, quantum computational approaches refined to overcome the challenge of limited quantum resources are highly valuable. A comprehensive benchmark for a quantum computational approach in this spirit could provide insights toward further improvements. On the other hand, the accuracy of the molecular properties predicted by most of the quantum computations nowadays is still far off (not within chemical accuracy) compared to their corresponding experimental data. In this work, we propose a promising qubit-efficient quantum computational approach and present a comprehensive investigation by benchmarking quantum computation of the harmonic vibrational frequencies of a large set of neutral closed-shell diatomic molecules with results in great agreement with their experimental data. To this end, we construct the accurate Hamiltonian using molecular orbitals, derived from density functional theory to account for the electron correlation and expanded in the Daubechies wavelet basis set to allow an accurate representation in real space grid points, where an optimized compact active space is further selected so that only a reduced small number of qubits is sufficient to yield an accurate result. Typically, calculations achieved with 2 to 12 qubits using our approach would need 20 to 60 qubits using a traditional cc-pVDZ basis set with frozen core approximation to achieve similar accuracy. To justify the approach, we benchmark the performance of the Hamiltonians spanned by the selected molecular orbitals by first transforming the molecular Hamiltonians into qubit Hamiltonians and then using the exact diagonalization method to calculate the results, regarded as the best results achievable by quantum computation to compare to the experimental data. Furthermore, using the variational quantum eigensolver algorithm with the constructed qubit Hamiltonians, we show that the variational quantum circuit with the chemistry-inspired UCCSD ansatz can achieve the same accuracy as the exact diagonalization method except for systems whose Mayer bond order indices are larger than 2. For those systems, we then demonstrate that the heuristic hardware-efficient RealAmplitudes ansatz, even with a substantially shorter circuit depth, can provide a significant improvement over the UCCSD ansatz, verifying that the harmonic vibrational frequencies could be calculated accurately by quantum computation in the NISQ era. © 2023 authors. Published by the American Physical Society.

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Accurate harmonic vibrational frequencies for diatomic molecules via quantum computing. / Chou, Shih-Kai; Chou, Jyh-Pin; Hu, Alice et al.
In: Physical Review Research, Vol. 5, No. 4, 043216, 12.2023.

Research output: Journal Publications and ReviewsRGC 21 - Publication in refereed journalpeer-review

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