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DFTB+ general package for performing fast atomistic simulations

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DFTB+: general package for performing fast atomistic calculations

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DFTB+ is a software package for carrying out fast quantum mechanical atomistic calculations based on the Density Functional Tight Binding method. The most recent features are described in the (open access)

DFTB+ paper

|DFTB+ logo|

DFTB+ can be either used as a standalone program or integrated into other software packages as a library.


Downloading the binary distribution

Binary (threaded) distribution of the latest stable release can be found on the

stable release page 

Alternatively, you can also install DFTB+ via the

Anaconda package management
_ framework. (This feature is currently experimental.)

Building from source

Note: This section describes the building with default settings (offering only a subset of all possible features in DFTB+) in a typical Linux environment. For more detailed information on the build customization and the build process, consult the detailed building instructions in


Download the source code from the

stable release page

You need CMake (>= 3.16) to build DFTB+. If your environment offers no CMake or only an older one, you can easily install the latest CMake via Python's


pip install cmake

Start CMake by passing your compilers as environment variables (

), and the location where the code should be installed and the build directory (
) and als options::

FC=gfortran CC=gcc cmake -DCMAKEINSTALLPREFIX=$HOME/opt/dftb+ -B _build .

If the configuration was successful, start the build with::

cmake --build _build -- -j

After successful build, you should test the code. First download the SK-files needed for the test ::

./utils/getoptexternals slakos

and then run the tests with ::

pushd _build; ctest -j; popd

If the tests were successful, install the package with ::

cmake --install _build

For further details see the

detailed building instructions 


In order to carry out calculations with DFTB+, you need according parameterisations (a.k.a. Slater-Koster files). You can download them from 


Consult following resources for documentation:

  • Step-by-step instructions with selected examples (DFTB+ Recipes)
  • Reference manual describing all features (DFTB+ Manual)


When publishing results obtained with DFTB+, please cite following works:

  • DFTB+, a software package for efficient approximate density functional theory
    based atomistic simulations; J. Chem. Phys. 152, 124101 (2020)
  • Reference publications of the Slater-Koster parameterization sets you used. (See 
    _ for the references.)
  • Methodological papers relevant to your calculations (e.g. excited states, electron-transport, third order DFTB etc.). Those references can be found in the

    DFTB+ manual


New features, bug fixes, documentation, tutorial examples and code testing is welcome in the DFTB+ developer community!

The project is

hosted on github 
. Please check
and the
DFTB+ developers
_ for guide lines.

We are looking forward to your pull request!


DFTB+ is released under the GNU Lesser General Public License. See the included

_ file for the detailed licensing conditions.

.. |DFTB+ logo| image:: :alt: DFTB+ website :scale: 100% :target:

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