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J Chem Phys. 2008 Aug 14;129(6):064108. doi: 10.1063/1.2965882.

Developing ab initio quality force fields from condensed phase quantum-mechanics/molecular-mechanics calculations through the adaptive force matching method.

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  • 1Department of Chemistry, Boston University, Boston, Massachusetts 02215, USA.


A new method called adaptive force matching (AFM) has been developed that is capable of producing high quality force fields for condensed phase simulations. This procedure involves the parametrization of force fields to reproduce ab initio forces obtained from condensed phase quantum-mechanics/molecular-mechanics (QM/MM) calculations. During the procedure, the MM part of the QM/MM is iteratively improved so as to approach ab initio quality. In this work, the AFM method has been tested to parametrize force fields for liquid water so that the resulting force fields reproduce forces calculated using the ab initio MP2 and the Kohn-Sham density functional theory with the Becke-Lee-Yang-Parr (BLYP) and Becke three-parameter LYP (B3LYP) exchange correlation functionals. The AFM force fields generated in this work are very simple to evaluate and are supported by most molecular dynamics (MD) codes. At the same time, the quality of the forces predicted by the AFM force fields rivals that of very expensive ab initio calculations and are found to successfully reproduce many experimental properties. The site-site radial distribution functions (RDFs) obtained from MD simulations using the force field generated from the BLYP functional through AFM compare favorably with the previously published RDFs from Car-Parrinello MD simulations with the same functional. Technical aspects of AFM such as the optimal QM cluster size, optimal basis set, and optimal QM method to be used with the AFM procedure are discussed in this paper.

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