Theoretical Chemistry Accounts

, Volume 109, Issue 1, pp 43–52

Evaluation of an ab initio quantum mechanical/molecular mechanical hybrid-potential link-atom method

  • Patricia Amara
  • Martin J. Field
Regular article

DOI: 10.1007/s00214-002-0413-3

Cite this article as:
Amara, P. & Field, M. Theor Chem Acc (2003) 109: 43. doi:10.1007/s00214-002-0413-3


 Hybrid potentials have become a common tool in the study of many condensed-phase processes and are the subject of much active research. An important aspect of the formulation of a hybrid potential concerns how to handle covalent bonds between atoms that are described with different potentials and, most notably, those at the interface of the quantum mechanical (QM) and molecular mechanical (MM) regions. Several methods have been proposed to deal with this problem, ranging from the simple link-atom method to more sophisticated hybrid-orbital techniques. Although it has been heavily criticized, the link-atom method has probably been the most widely used in applications, especially with hybrid potentials that use semiempirical QM methods. Our aim in this paper has been to evaluate the link-atom method for ab initio QM/MM hybrid potentials and to compare the results it gives with those of previously published studies. Given its simplicity and robustness, we find that the link-atom method can produce results of comparable accuracy to other methods as long as the charge distribution on the MM atoms at the interface is treated appropriately.

Keywords: Quantum mechanical/molecular mechanical hybrid potentials – Ab initio quantum chemistry – Link atoms 

Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag Berlin Heidelberg 2003

Authors and Affiliations

  • Patricia Amara
    • 1
  • Martin J. Field
    • 1
  1. 1.Institut de Biologie Structurale – Jean-Pierre Ebel CEA/CNRS/UJF, 41, rue Jules Horowitz, 38027 Grenoble Cedex 1, FranceFR

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