QM/MM Investigations Of Organic Chemistry Oriented Questions

  • Thomas C. Schmidt
  • Alexander Paasche
  • Christoph Grebner
  • Kay Ansorg
  • Johannes Becker
  • Wook Lee
  • Bernd EngelsEmail author
Part of the Topics in Current Chemistry book series (TOPCURRCHEM, volume 351)


About 35 years after its first suggestion, QM/MM became the standard theoretical approach to investigate enzymatic structures and processes. The success is due to the ability of QM/MM to provide an accurate atomistic picture of enzymes and related processes. This picture can even be turned into a movie if nuclei-dynamics is taken into account to describe enzymatic processes. In the field of organic chemistry, QM/MM methods are used to a much lesser extent although almost all relevant processes happen in condensed matter or are influenced by complicated interactions between substrate and catalyst. There is less importance for theoretical organic chemistry since the influence of nonpolar solvents is rather weak and the effect of polar solvents can often be accurately described by continuum approaches. Catalytic processes (homogeneous and heterogeneous) can often be reduced to truncated model systems, which are so small that pure quantum-mechanical approaches can be employed. However, since QM/MM becomes more and more efficient due to the success in software and hardware developments, it is more and more used in theoretical organic chemistry to study effects which result from the molecular nature of the environment. It is shown by many examples discussed in this review that the influence can be tremendous, even for nonpolar reactions. The importance of environmental effects in theoretical spectroscopy was already known. Due to its benefits, QM/MM can be expected to experience ongoing growth for the next decade.

In the present chapter we give an overview of QM/MM developments and their importance in theoretical organic chemistry, and review applications which give impressions of the possibilities and the importance of the relevant effects. Since there is already a bunch of excellent reviews dealing with QM/MM, we will discuss fundamental ingredients and developments of QM/MM very briefly with a focus on very recent progress. For the applications we follow a similar strategy.


Application Conformational search Developments EPR Force fields Hybrid approaches NMR Organic semiconductors QM/MM Reaction mechanism Reaction pathways Review Solvent effects Solvent shells Spectroscopy Theoretical organic chemistry UV/Vis VUV 



Financial support by the DFG (Deutsche Forschungsgemeinschaft) in the framework of the SFB 630 and the GRK1221 and by the Volkswagen Stiftung is gratefully acknowledged.


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Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag Berlin Heidelberg 2012

Authors and Affiliations

  • Thomas C. Schmidt
    • 1
  • Alexander Paasche
    • 1
  • Christoph Grebner
    • 1
  • Kay Ansorg
    • 1
  • Johannes Becker
    • 1
  • Wook Lee
    • 1
  • Bernd Engels
    • 1
    Email author
  1. 1.Institut für Phys. und Theor. ChemieWürzburgGermany

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