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Linear Combination of Atomic Dipoles to Calculate the Bond and Molecular Dipole Moments of Molecules and Molecular Liquids


We report a linear combination of atomic dipole (LCAD) method for calculating the bond dipole moments of molecules. We show that the LCAD method reproduces the known molecular dipole moments of small to large molecules with a small error with respect to experimental and benchmark ab initio calculations, and molecular dipole distributions of bulk water that agree with maximally localized Wannier functions. The bond dipole moments derived from LCAD are also chemically interpretable in terms of the trend in bond ionicity in going from neutral to charged molecules. Moreover, the LCAD method accurately captures the influence of electric fields, supported by the correct trend in the change of the dipole moment under a uniform external electric field. The better grounding of bond dipole calculations indicates that it should also serve as a useful approach to bond dipole-field models used in catalysis or to reconstruct the small dipole of a H-terminated graphene flake.

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