Accurate and Compatible Force Fields for Molecular Oxygen, Nitrogen, and Hydrogen to Simulate Gases, Electrolytes, and Heterogeneous Interfaces

SY Wang and KY Hou and H Heinz, JOURNAL OF CHEMICAL THEORY AND COMPUTATION, 17, 5198-5213 (2021).

DOI: 10.1021/acs.jctc.0c01132

Gas molecules and interfaces with liquids and solids play a critical role in living organisms, sorption, catalysis, and the environment. Monitoring adsorption and heterogeneous interfaces remains difficult in experiments, and earlier models for molecular simulations lead to errors over 100% in fundamental molecular properties. We introduce conceptually new force field parameters for molecular oxygen, nitrogen, and hydrogen that reduce deviations to <5%. We employ a combination of a harmonic bond stretching potential and Lennard-Jones parameters with 12-6 and 9-6 options, leading to computed bond lengths, Raman peaks, liquid densities, vaporization enthalpies, and free energies of hydration in impressive agreement with experiments. Reliable free energies of hydration were obtained upon validation of density and vaporization energy without significant further parameter adjustments. We illustrate applications to O-2 adsorption on Pt electrocatalysts and N-2 adsorption in zeolites, showing <5% deviation in adsorption energies measured in experiments without additional fitting parameters. We discuss the chemical interpretation of all parameters and explain the reasons for discrepancies in earlier models. Compatibility with the Interface Force Field (IFF), CHARMM, AMBER, OPLS-AA, GROMOS, DREIDING, CVFF, PCFF, COMPASS, and QM/MM methods enables reliable simulations of gases and liquid/solid interfaces with biopolymers, minerals, and metals. The parametrization protocol can be applied to similar molecules.

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