An Iterative Fragment Scheme for the ACKS2 Electronic Polarization Model: Application to Molecular Dimers and Chains

P Gutlein and J Blumberger and H Oberhofer, JOURNAL OF CHEMICAL THEORY AND COMPUTATION, 16, 5723-5735 (2020).

DOI: 10.1021/acs.jctc.0c00151

The treatment of electrostatic interactions is a key ingredient in the force field-based simulation of condensed phase systems. Most approaches used fixed, site-specific point charges. Yet, it is now clear that many applications of force fields (FFs) demand more sophisticated treatments, prompting the implementation of charge equilibration methods in polarizable FFs to allow the redistribution of charge within the system. One approach allowing both, charge redistribution and site-specific polarization, while at the same time solving methodological shortcomings of earlier methods, is the first-principles-derived atom-condensed Kohn- Sham density functional theory method approximated to the second order (ACKS2). In this work, we present two fragment approaches to ACKS2, termed f-ACKS2 and a self-consistent version, scf-ACKS2, that treat condensed phase systems as a collection of electronically polarizable molecular fragments. The fragmentation approach to ACKS2 not only leads to a more transferable and less system-specific collection of electronic response parameters but also opens up the method to large condensed phase systems. We validate the accuracies of f-ACKS2 and scf-ACKS2 by comparing polarization energies and induced dipole moments for a number of charged hydrocarbon dimers against DFT reference calculations. Finally, we also apply both fragmented ACKS2 variants to calculate the polarization energy for electron-hole pair separation along a chain of anthracene molecules and find excellent agreement with reference DFT calculations.

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