Grimme’s dispersion-corrected density functional theory (DFT-D) methods have emerged among the most practical approaches to perform accurate quantum mechanical calculations on molecular systems ranging from small clusters to microscopic and mesoscopic samples, i.e., including hundreds or thousands of molecules. Moreover, DFT-D functionals can be easily integrated into popularab initiomolecular dynamics (MD) software packages to carry out first-principles condensed-phase simulations at an affordable computational cost. Here, starting from the well-established D3 version of the dispersion-correction term, we present a simple protocol to improve the accurate description of the intermolecular interactions of molecular clusters of growing size, considering acetonitrile as a test case. Optimization of the interaction energy was performed with reference to diffusion quantum Monte Carlo calculations, successfully reaching the same inherent accuracy of the latter (statistical error of ∼0.1 kcal/mol per molecule). The refined DFT-D3 model was then used to performab initioMD simulations of liquid acetonitrile, again showing significant improvements toward available experimental data with respect to the default correction.

Enhancing the Accuracy of Ab Initio Molecular Dynamics by Fine Tuning of Effective Two-Body Interactions: Acetonitrile as a Test Case

Pagliai M.;Sinha S.;Barone V.;Brancato G.
2021

Abstract

Grimme’s dispersion-corrected density functional theory (DFT-D) methods have emerged among the most practical approaches to perform accurate quantum mechanical calculations on molecular systems ranging from small clusters to microscopic and mesoscopic samples, i.e., including hundreds or thousands of molecules. Moreover, DFT-D functionals can be easily integrated into popularab initiomolecular dynamics (MD) software packages to carry out first-principles condensed-phase simulations at an affordable computational cost. Here, starting from the well-established D3 version of the dispersion-correction term, we present a simple protocol to improve the accurate description of the intermolecular interactions of molecular clusters of growing size, considering acetonitrile as a test case. Optimization of the interaction energy was performed with reference to diffusion quantum Monte Carlo calculations, successfully reaching the same inherent accuracy of the latter (statistical error of ∼0.1 kcal/mol per molecule). The refined DFT-D3 model was then used to performab initioMD simulations of liquid acetonitrile, again showing significant improvements toward available experimental data with respect to the default correction.
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Utilizza questo identificativo per citare o creare un link a questo documento: http://hdl.handle.net/11384/113532
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