Quantum mechanics based non-bonded force field functions for use in molecular dynamics simulations of materials and systems: The nitrogen and oxygen columns

P Geng and S Zybin and S Naserifar and WA III Goddard, JOURNAL OF CHEMICAL PHYSICS, 159, 164104 (2023).

DOI: 10.1063/5.0174188

Accurate Force Fields (FFs) are essential for Molecular Dynamics (MD) simulations of the dynamics of realistic materials in terms of atomic- level interactions. The FF parameters of short-range valence interactions can be derived through Quantum Mechanical (QM) calculations on model systems practical for QM (<300 atoms). Similarly, the dynamic electrostatic interactions can be described with methods such as QEq or PQEq that allow charges and polarization to adjust dynamically. However, accurately extracting long-range van der Waals (vdW) interactions from QM calculations poses challenges due to the absence of a definitive method to distinguish between the different energetic components of electrostatics, polarization, vdW, hydrogen bonding, and valence interactions. To do this we use the Perdew-Burke-Ernzerhof flavor of Density Functional Theory, including empirical D3 vdW corrections, to predict the Equation of State for each element (keeping any covalent bonds fixed), from which we obtain the two-body vdW nonbond potential. Here, we extend these calculations to include non-bonded parameters for the N and O columns of the periodic table so that we now describe columns 15 (N), 16 (O), 17 (F), and 18 (Ne) of the periodic table. For these 20 elements, we find that the two-body vdW potentials can all be mapped to a single universal two-body curve, with just three scaling parameters: R-e, D-e, and L. We refer to this as the Universal NonBond (UNB) potential. We expect this to be useful for new MD simulations and a helpful starting point to obtain UNB parameters for the remainder of the periodic table.

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