3 years ago

New Angles on Standard Force Fields: Toward a General Approach for Treating Atomic-Level Anisotropy

New Angles on Standard Force Fields: Toward a General
Approach for Treating Atomic-Level Anisotropy
Mary J. Van Vleet, Alston J. Misquitta, J. R. Schmidt
Nearly all standard force fields employ the “sum-of-spheres” approximation, which models intermolecular interactions purely in terms of interatomic distances. Nonetheless, atoms in molecules can have significantly nonspherical shapes, leading to interatomic interaction energies with strong orientation dependencies. Neglecting this “atomic-level anisotropy” can lead to significant errors in predicting interaction energies. Herein, we propose a simple, transferable, and computationally efficient model (MASTIFF) whereby atomic-level orientation dependence can be incorporated into ab initio intermolecular force fields. MASTIFF includes anisotropic exchange-repulsion, charge penetration, and dispersion effects, in conjunction with a standard treatment of anisotropic long-range (multipolar) electrostatics. To validate our approach, we benchmark MASTIFF against various sum-of-spheres models over a large library of intermolecular interactions between small organic molecules. MASTIFF achieves quantitative accuracy, with respect to both high-level electronic structure theory and experiment, thus showing promise as a basis for “next-generation” force field development.

Publisher URL: http://dx.doi.org/10.1021/acs.jctc.7b00851

DOI: 10.1021/acs.jctc.7b00851

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