Development of an AMBER-compatible transferable force field for poly(ethylene glycol) ethers (glymes)

  • Nathalia S. V. Barbosa
  • Yong Zhang
  • Eduardo R. A. Lima
  • Frederico W. TavaresEmail author
  • Edward J. MaginnEmail author
Original Paper


An all-atom force field consistent with the general AMBER force field (GAFF) format for poly(ethylene glycol) dimethyl ether (diglyme or G2) was developed by fitting to experimental liquid densities and dielectric constants. Not surprisingly, the new force field gives excellent agreement with experimental liquid phase densities and dielectric constants over a wide temperature range. Other dynamic and thermodynamic properties of liquid G2 such as its self-diffusion coefficient, shear viscosity, and vaporization enthalpy were also calculated and compared to experimental data. For all of the properties studied, the performance of the proposed new force field is better than that of the standard GAFF force field. The force field parameters were transferred to model two other poly(ethylene glycol) ethers: monoglyme (G1) and tetraglyme (G4). The predictive ability of the modified force field for G1 and G4 was significantly better than that of the original GAFF force field. The proposed force field provides an alternative option for the simulation of mixtures containing glymes using GAFF-compatible force fields, particularly for electrochemical applications. The accuracy of a previously published force field based on the OPLS-AA format and the accuracies of two modified versions of that force field were also examined for G1, G2, and G4. It was found that the original OPLS-AA force field is superior to the modified versions of it, and that it has a similar accuracy to the proposed new GAFF-compatible force field.

Graphical abstract

Transferability of an AMBER-compatible force field parameterized for G2 to other glymes


Glymes Transferability General AMBER force field Dielectric constant 



N.S.V. Barbosa, E.R.A. Lima, and F.W. Tavares are grateful to several Brazilian agencies—the National Counsel of Technological and Scientific Development (CNPq) and the Carlos Chagas Filho Foundation for Research Support in the State of Rio de Janeiro (FAPERJ)—for financial support. Computational resources were provided by the Center for Research Computing (CRC) at the University of Notre Dame. Y. Zhang and E. Maginn are supported by the U.S. Department of Energy, Basic Energy Science, Joint Center for Energy Storage Research under contract no. DE-AC02-06CH11357.

Supplementary material

894_2017_3355_MOESM1_ESM.docx (179 kb)
ESM 1 (DOCX 179 kb)


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Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag Berlin Heidelberg 2017

Authors and Affiliations

  • Nathalia S. V. Barbosa
    • 1
  • Yong Zhang
    • 2
    • 3
  • Eduardo R. A. Lima
    • 1
  • Frederico W. Tavares
    • 4
    • 5
    Email author
  • Edward J. Maginn
    • 2
    • 3
    Email author
  1. 1.Programa de Pós-graduação em Engenharia QuímicaUniversidade do Estado do Rio de JaneiroRio de JaneiroBrazil
  2. 2.Department of Chemical and Biomolecular EngineeringUniversity of Notre DameNotre DameUSA
  3. 3.Joint Center for Energy Storage ResearchUniversity of Notre DameNotre DameUSA
  4. 4.Escola de QuímicaUniversidade Federal do Rio de JaneiroRio de JaneiroBrazil
  5. 5.Programa de Engenharia Química, COPPEUniversidade Federal do Rio de JaneiroRio de JaneiroBrazil

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