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Open Access Publications from the University of California

Development of an Advanced Force Field for Water Using Variational Energy Decomposition Analysis.

  • Author(s): Das, Akshaya K
  • Urban, Lars
  • Leven, Itai
  • Loipersberger, Matthias
  • Aldossary, Abdulrahman
  • Head-Gordon, Martin
  • Head-Gordon, Teresa
  • et al.

Given the piecewise approach to modeling intermolecular interactions for force fields, they can be difficult to parametrize since they are fit to data like total energies that only indirectly connect to their separable functional forms. Furthermore, by neglecting certain types of molecular interactions such as charge penetration and charge transfer, most classical force fields must rely on, but do not always demonstrate, how cancellation of errors occurs among the remaining molecular interactions accounted for such as exchange repulsion, electrostatics, and polarization. In this work we present the first generation of the (many-body) MB-UCB force field that explicitly accounts for the decomposed molecular interactions commensurate with a variational energy decomposition analysis, including charge transfer, with force field design choices that reduce the computational expense of the MB-UCB potential while remaining accurate. We optimize parameters using only a single water molecule and water cluster data up through pentamers, with no fitting to condensed phase data, and we demonstrate that high accuracy is maintained when the force field is subsequently validated against conformational energies of larger water cluster data sets, radial distribution functions of the liquid phase, and the temperature dependence of thermodynamic and transport water properties. We conclude that MB-UCB is comparable in performance to MB-Pol but is less expensive and more transferable by eliminating the need to represent short-ranged interactions through large parameter fits to high order polynomials.

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