Multiconfiguration molecular mechanics based on combined quantum mechanical and molecular mechanical calculations

Hai Lin, Yan Zhao, Oksana Tishchenko, Donald G. Truhlar

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38 Scopus citations


The multiconfiguration molecular mechanics (MCMM) method is a general algorithm for generating potential energy surfaces for chemical reactions by fitting high-level electronic structure data with the help of molecular mechanical (MM) potentials. It was previously developed as an extension of standard MM to reactive systems by inclusion of multidimensional resonance interactions between MM configurations corresponding to specific valence bonding patterns, with the resonance matrix element obtained from quantum mechanical (QM) electronic structure calculations. In particular, the resonance matrix element is obtained by multidimensional interpolation employing a finite number of geometries at which electronic-structure calculations of the energy, gradient, and Hessian are carried out. In this paper, we present a strategy for combining MCMM with hybrid quantum mechanical molecular mechanical (QM/MM) methods. In the new scheme, electronic-structure information for obtaining the resonance integral is obtained by means of hybrid QM/MM calculations instead of fully QM calculations. As such, the new strategy can be applied to the studies of very large reactive systems. The new MCMM scheme is tested for two hydrogen-transfer reactions. Very encouraging convergence is obtained for rate constants including tunneling, suggesting that the new MCMM method, called QM/MM-MCMM, is a very general, stable, and efficient procedure for generating potential energy surfaces for large reactive systems. The results are found to converge well with respect to the number of Hessians. The results are also compared to calculations in which the resonance integral data are obtained by pure QM, and this illustrates the sensitivity of reaction rate calculations to the treatment of the QM-MM border. For the smaller of the two systems, comparison is also made to direct dynamics calculations in which the potential energies are computed quantum mechanically on the fly.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)1237-1254
Number of pages18
JournalJournal of Chemical Theory and Computation
Issue number5
StatePublished - 2006


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