Realistic phase diagram of water from "first principles" data-driven quantum simulations

SL Bore and F Paesani, NATURE COMMUNICATIONS, 14, 3349 (2023).

DOI: 10.1038/s41467-023-38855-1

Since the experimental characterization of the low-pressure region of water's phase diagram in the early 1900s, scientists have been on a quest to understand the thermodynamic stability of ice polymorphs on the molecular level. In this study, we demonstrate that combining the MB-pol data-driven many-body potential for water, which was rigorously derived from "first principles" and exhibits chemical accuracy, with advanced enhanced-sampling algorithms, which correctly describe the quantum nature of molecular motion and thermodynamic equilibria, enables computer simulations of water's phase diagram with an unprecedented level of realism. Besides providing fundamental insights into how enthalpic, entropic, and nuclear quantum effects shape the free-energy landscape of water, we demonstrate that recent progress in "first principles" data-driven simulations, which rigorously encode many-body molecular interactions, has opened the door to realistic computational studies of complex molecular systems, bridging the gap between experiments and simulations.

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