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Mutually polarizable QM/MM model with in situ optimized localized basis functions


We extend our recently developed quantum-mechanical/molecular mechanics (QM/MM) approach [Dziedzic et al., J. Chem. Phys. 145, 124106 (2016)] to enable in situ optimization of the localized orbitals. The quantum subsystem is described with ONETEP linear-scaling density functional theory and the classical subsystem – with the AMOEBA polarizable force field. The two subsystems interact via multipolar electrostatics and are fully mutually polarizable. A total energy minimization scheme is employed for the Hamiltonian of the coupled QM/MM system. We demonstrate that, compared to simpler models using fixed basis sets, the additional flexibility offered by in situ optimized basis functions improves the accuracy of the QM/MM interface, but also poses new challenges, making the QM subsystem more prone to overpolarization and unphysical charge transfer due to increased charge penetration. We show how these issues can be efficiently solved by replacing the classical repulsive van der Waals term for QM/MM interactions with an interaction of the electronic density with a fixed, repul- sive MM potential that mimics Pauli repulsion, together with a modest increase in the damping of QM/MM polarization. We validate our method, with particular attention paid to the hydrogen bond, in tests on water-ion pairs, the water dimer, first solvation shells of neutral and charged species, and solute-solvent interaction energies. As a proof of principle, we determine suitable repulsive potential parameters for water, K+, and Cl−. The mechanisms we employed to counteract the unphysical overpolarization of the QM subsystem are demonstrated to be adequate, and our approach is robust. We find that the inclusion of explicit polarization in the MM part of QM/MM improves agreement with fully QM calculations. Our model permits the use of minimal size QM regions and, remarkably, yields good energetics across the well-balanced QM/MM interface.


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JOURNAL OF CHEMICAL PHYSICS no. 150, pages 1 - 24,
ISSN: 0021-9606
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Bibliographic description:
Dziedzic J., Head-Gordon T., Head-Gordon M., Skylaris C.: Mutually polarizable QM/MM model with in situ optimized localized basis functions// JOURNAL OF CHEMICAL PHYSICS. -Vol. 150, (2019), s.1-24
Digital Object Identifier (open in new tab) 10.1063/1.5080384
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Gdańsk University of Technology

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