A simple and effective solution to the constrained QM/MM simulations

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10 Citations (Scopus)


It is a promising extension of the quantum mechanical/molecular mechanical (QM/MM) approach to incorporate the solvent molecules surrounding the QM solute into the QM region to ensure the adequate description of the electronic polarization of the solute. However, the solvent molecules in the QM region inevitably diffuse into the MM bulk during the QM/MM simulation. In this article, we developed a simple and efficient method, referred to as the "boundary constraint with correction (BCC)," to prevent the diffusion of the solvent water molecules by means of a constraint potential. The point of the BCC method is to compensate the error in a statistical property due to the bias potential by adding a correction term obtained through a set of QM/MM simulations. The BCC method is designed so that the effect of the bias potential completely vanishes when the QM solvent is identical with the MM solvent. Furthermore, the desirable conditions, that is, the continuities of energy and force and the conservations of energy and momentum, are fulfilled in principle. We applied the QM/MM-BCC method to a hydronium ion(H3O+) in aqueous solution to construct the radial distribution function (RDF) of the solvent around the solute. It was demonstrated that the correction term fairly compensated the error and led the RDF in good agreement with the result given by an ab initio molecular dynamics simulation.

Original languageEnglish
Article number134119
JournalJournal of Chemical Physics
Issue number13
Publication statusPublished - 2018 Apr 7


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