Perturbation approach for computing infrared spectra of the local mode of probe molecules

Rui Jie Xue, Adam Grofe, He Yin, Zexing Qu, Jiali Gao, Hui Li

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9 Scopus citations


Linear and two-dimensional infrared (IR) spectroscopy of site-specific probe molecules provides an opportunity to gain a molecular-level understanding of the local hydrogen-bonding network, conformational dynamics, and long-range electrostatic interactions in condensed-phase and biological systems. A challenge in computation is to determine the time-dependent vibrational frequencies that incorporate explicitly both nuclear quantum effects of vibrational motions and an electronic structural representation of the potential energy surface. In this paper, a nuclear quantum vibrational perturbation (QVP) method is described for efficiently determining the instantaneous vibrational frequency of a chromophore in molecular dynamics simulations. Computational efficiency is achieved through the use of (a) discrete variable representation of the vibrational wave functions, (b) a perturbation theory to evaluate the vibrational energy shifts due to solvent dynamic fluctuations, and (c) a combined QM/MM potential for the systems. It was found that first-order perturbation is sufficiently accurate, enabling time-dependent vibrational frequencies to be obtained on the fly in molecular dynamics. The QVP method is illustrated in the mode-specific linear and 2D-IR spectra of the H-Cl stretching frequency in the HCl-water clusters and the carbonyl stretching vibration of acetone in aqueous solution. To further reduce computational cost, a hybrid strategy was proposed, and it was found that the computed vibrational spectral peak position and line shape are in agreement with experimental results. In addition, it was found that anharmonicity is significant in the H-Cl stretching mode, and hydrogen-bonding interactions further enhance anharmonic effects. The present QVP method complements other computational approaches, including path integral-based molecular dynamics, and represents a major improvement over the electrostatics-based spectroscopic mapping procedures.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)191-201
Number of pages11
JournalJournal of Chemical Theory and Computation
Issue number1
StatePublished - Jan 10 2017

Bibliographical note

Funding Information:
We thank Martin A. Suhm and Michal Fárník for providing the raw experimental data. This research has been supported by grants from the National Natural Science Foundation of China (Grant Nos. 21273094 and 21533003), Program for New Century Excellent Talents in University and the National Institutes of Health (Grant No. GM46376).

Publisher Copyright:
© 2016 American Chemical Society.


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