Electronically coarse-grained molecular dynamics using quantum Drude oscillators

AP Jones and J Crain and FS Cipcigan and VP Sokhan and M Modani and GJ Martyna, MOLECULAR PHYSICS, 111, 3465-3477 (2013).

DOI: 10.1080/00268976.2013.843032

Standard molecular dynamics (MD) simulations generally make use of a basic description of intermolecular forces which consists of fixed, pairwise, atom-centred Coulomb, van der Waals and short-range repulsive terms. Important interactions such as many-body polarisation and many- body dispersion which are sensitive to changes in the environment are usually neglected, and their effects treated effectively within mean- field approximations to reproduce a single thermodynamic state point or physical environment. This leads to difficulties in modelling the complex interfaces of interest today where the behaviour may be quite different from the regime of parameterisation. Here, we describe the construction and properties of a Gaussian coarse-grained electronic structure, which naturally generates many-body polarisation and dispersion interactions. The electronic structure arises from a fully quantum mechanical treatment of a set of distributed quantum Drude oscillators (QDOs), harmonic atoms which interact with each other and other moieties via electrostatic (Coulomb) interactions; this coarse- grained approach is capable of describing many-body polarisation and dispersion but not short-range interactions which must be parametrised. We describe how on-the-fly forces due to this exchange-free Gaussian model may be generated with linear scale in the number of atoms in the system using an adiabatic path integral molecular dynamics for quantum Drude oscillators technique (APIMD-QDO). We demonstrate the applicability of the QDO approach to realistic systems via a study of the liquid-vapour interface of water.

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