The sgrid executable is a tool for manipulating a simulation grid and transforming it into CUBE format for plotting 3D data in, e.g. VMD or XCrySDen.

Any Sile which implements a read_grid method can be used to post-process data.

For a short help description of the possible uses do:

sgrid --help

Here we list a few of the most frequent used commands. Note that all commands are available via Python scripts and the Grid class.

Creating CUBE files

The simplest usage is converting a grid file to CUBE file using

sgrid Rho.cube

which converts a Siesta grid file of the electron density into a corresponding CUBE file. The CUBE file writeout is implemented in Cube.

Conveniently CUBE files can accomodate geometries and species for inclusion in the 3D plot and this can be added to the file via the --geometry flag, any geometry format implemented in sisl are also compatible with sgrid.

sgrid --geometry RUN.fdf Rho.cube

the shorthand flag for -geometry is -G.

Grid differences

To easily obtain differences between two grids one may use the --diff flag which takes one additional grid file for the difference. I.e.

sgrid{0} -G RUN.fdf --diff{1} diff_up-down.cube

which takes the difference between the spin up and spin down in the same file. The spin (index) specification takes either a single integer or a list of floating point values, as can be seen in the below and shorter equivalent syntax:

sgrid "{1.,-1.}" -G RUN.fdf diff_up-down.cube

The bracketed specification is an array of the fractions for each spin-component, so here we take the first spin-component and subtract the second spin-component. The quotation marks are typically required due to Python’s argparse module.

Note that these spin specifications only work for files that contain all spin relevant quantities.

The above is largely equivalent to this small snippet:

geom = sisl.get_sile('RUN.fdf').read_geometry()
diff = sisl.get_sile('').read_grid(index=[1, -1])

Reducing grid sizes

Often grids are far too large in that only a small part of the full cell is needed to be studied. One can remove certain parts of the grid after reading, before writing. This will greatly decrease the output file and greatly speed-up the process as writing huge ASCII files is extremely time consuming. There are two methods for reducing grids:

sgrid <file> --sub <pos|<frac>f> x
sgrid <file> --remove [+-]<pos|<frac>f> x

This needs an example, say the unit cell is an orthogonal unit-cell with side lengths 10x10x20 Angstrom. To reduce the cell to a middle square of 5x5x5 Angstrom you can do:

sgrid --sub 2.5:7.5 x --sub 2.5:7.5 y --sub 7.5:12.5 z 5x5x5.cube

note that the order of the reductions are made in the order of appearence. So two subsequent sub/remove commands with the same direction will not yield the same final grid. The individual commands can be understood via

  • --sub 2.5:7.5 x: keep the grid along the first cell direction above 2.5 Å and below 5 Å.

  • --sub 2.5:7.5 y: keep the grid along the second cell direction above 2.5 Å and below 5 Å.

  • --sub 7.5:12.5 z: keep the grid along the third cell direction above 7.5 Å and below 12.5 Å.

When one is dealing with fractional coordinates is can be convenient to use fractional grid operations. The length unit for the position is always in Ångstrøm, unless an optional f is appended which forces the unit to be in fractional position (must be between 0 and 1).

When combining grid reductions with grid differences the order is also important, the following two commands are not equivalent:

sgrid --sub 2.5:7.5 x --diff --out test.cube
sgrid --diff --sub 2.5:7.5 x --out test.cube

where the first command assumes matches the shape of after it has been reduced to 5 Ång along the \(x\) direction. The second assumes the two grids to have the same shape, then the reduction will be performed on the grid difference.

Averaging and summing

Sometimes it is convenient to average or sum grids along cell directions:

sgrid --average x meanx.cube
sgrid --sum x sumx.cube

which takes the average or the sum along the first cell direction, respectively. Note that this results in the number of partitions along that direction to be 1 (not all 3D software is capable of reading such a CUBE file).

If one averages along two directions the resulting grid will be a 1D array and one can save it in a table with the first column being the remaining dimensions position (in Ång).

sgrid --average x --average y z_charge.dat

will create a two-column data file with \(z\) coordinate and the plane-averaged charge-density.

Advanced features

The above operations are not the limited use of the sisl library. However, to accomblish more complex things you need to manually script the actions using the Grid class and the methods available for that method. For inspiration you can check the sgrid executable to see how the commands are used in the script.