Determining polarizable force fields with electrostatic potentials from quantum mechanical linear response theory.
We developed a new method to calculate the atomic polarizabilities by fitting to the electrostatic potentials (ESPs) obtained from quantum mechanical (QM) calculations within the linear response theory. This parallels the conventional approach of fitting atomic charges based on electrostatic potentials from the electron density. Our ESP fitting is combined with the induced dipole model under the perturbation of uniform external electric fields of all orientations. QM calculations for the linear response to the external electric fields are used as input, fully consistent with the induced dipole model, which itself is a linear response model. The orientation of the uniform external electric fields is integrated in all directions. The integration of orientation and QM linear response calculations together makes the fitting results independent of the orientations and magnitudes of the uniform external electric fields applied. Another advantage of our method is that QM calculation is only needed once, in contrast to the conventional approach, where many QM calculations are needed for many different applied electric fields. The molecular polarizabilities obtained from our method show comparable accuracy with those from fitting directly to the experimental or theoretical molecular polarizabilities. Since ESP is directly fitted, atomic polarizabilities obtained from our method are expected to reproduce the electrostatic interactions better. Our method was used to calculate both transferable atomic polarizabilities for polarizable molecular mechanics' force fields and nontransferable molecule-specific atomic polarizabilities.
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