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J Chem Phys. 2011 May 7;134(17):174107. doi: 10.1063/1.3581093.

Accelerating chemical reactions: exploring reactive free-energy surfaces using accelerated ab initio molecular dynamics.

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Department of Chemistry and Biochemistry, University of California, San Diego, La Jolla, California 92003-0365, USA.


A biased potential molecular dynamics simulation approach, accelerated molecular dynamics (AMD), has been implemented in the framework of ab initio molecular dynamics for the study of chemical reactions. Using two examples, the double proton transfer reaction in formic acid dimer and the hypothetical adiabatic ring opening and subsequent rearrangement reactions in methylenecyclopropane, it is demonstrated that ab initio AMD can be readily employed to efficiently explore the reactive potential energy surface, allowing the prediction of chemical reactions and the identification of metastable states. An adaptive variant of the AMD method is developed, which additionally affords an accurate representation of both the free-energy surface and the mechanism associated with the chemical reaction of interest and can also provide an estimate of the reaction rate.

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