Convergence of Excitation Energies in Mixed Quantum and Classical Solvent: Comparison of Continuum and Point Charge Models

Citation:

Provorse, M. R., Peev, T., Xiong, C., & Isborn, C. M. (2016). Convergence of Excitation Energies in Mixed Quantum and Classical Solvent: Comparison of Continuum and Point Charge Models. The Journal of Physical Chemistry B, 120, 12148-12159.

Abstract:

Mixed quantum mechanical (QM)/classical methods provide a computationally efficient approach to modeling both ground and excited states in the condensed phase. To accurately model short-range interactions, some amount of the environment can be included in the QM region, whereas a classical model can treat long-range interactions to maintain computational affordability. The best computational protocol for these mixed QM/classical methods can be determined by examining convergence of molecular properties. Here, we compare molecular mechanical (MM) fixed point charges to a polarizable continuum model (PCM) for computing electronic excitations in solution. We computed the excitation energy of three pairs of neutral/anionic molecules in aqueous solvent, including up to 250 water molecules in the QM region. Interestingly, the convergence is similar for MM point charges and a PCM, with convergence achieved when at least one full solvation shell is treated with QM. Although the van der Waals (VDW) definition of the PCM cavity is adequate with small amounts of QM solvent, larger QM solvent layers had gaps in the VDW PCM cavity, leading to asymptotically incorrect excitation energies. Given that the VDW cavity leads to unphysical solute–solvent interactions, we advise using a solvent-excluded surface cavity for QM/PCM calculations that include QM solvent.

Notes:

PMID: 27797196

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