Journal of Mathematical Chemistry

, Volume 49, Issue 9, pp 1915–1927 | Cite as

Newton trajectories for finding stationary points on molecular potential energy surfaces

  • Yuli Liu
  • Steven K. Burger
  • Paul W. AyersEmail author
Original Paper


We present a new algorithm for computing Newton trajectories based on the Quadratic String Method (QSM) and explain how this can be used to find key stationary points on the molecular potential energy surface (PES). This method starts by using the intersections of Newton trajectories to locate stationary points on the PES. These points could then be used to determine the minimum energy path. The new method, called QSM-NT, is shown to be efficient and reliable for both analytical potential energy surfaces and potential energy surfaces computed from quantum chemistry calculations. The advantages and pitfalls of this method for exploring PES are discussed. In particular, the problem of discontinuous Newton trajectories is elucidated.


Newton trajectory Quadratic string method Stationary points Minimum energy path 


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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media, LLC 2011

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Department of Chemistry and Chemical BiologyMcMaster UniversityHamiltonCanada

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