We present a method for analytically calculating the derivative couplings between a pair of configuration-interaction-singles (CIS) excited states obtained in an atom-centered basis. Our theory is exact and has been derived using two completely independent approaches: one inspired by the Hellmann-Feynman theorem and the other following from direct differentiation. (The former is new, while the latter is in the spirit of existing approaches in the literature.) Our expression for the derivative couplings incorporates all Pulay effects associated with the use of an atom-centered basis, and the computational cost is minimal, roughly comparable to that of a single CIS energy gradient. We have validated our method against CIS finite-difference results and have applied it to the lowest lying excited states of naphthalene; we find that naphthalene derivative couplings include Pulay contributions sufficient to have a qualitative effect. Going beyond standard problems in analytic gradient theory, we have also constructed a correction, based on perturbative electron-translation factors, for including electronic momentum and eliminating spurious components of the derivative couplings that break translational symmetry. This correction is general and can be applied to any level of electronic structure theory.
S. Fatehi et al., J. Chem. Phys. 135, 234105 (2011)