A general intermolecular force field based on tight-binding quantum chemical calculations
- Stefan Grimme
- Christoph Bannwarth
- Eike Caldeweyher
A black-box type procedure is presented for the generation of a molecule-specific, intermolecular potential energy function. The method uses quantum chemical (QC) information from our recently published extended tight-binding semi-empirical scheme (GFN-xTB) and can treat non-covalently bound complexes and aggregates with almost arbitrary chemical structure. The necessary QC information consists of the equilibrium structure, Mulliken atomic charges, charge centers of localized molecular orbitals, and also of frontier orbitals and orbital energies. The molecular pair potential includes model density dependent Pauli repulsion, penetration, as well as point charge electrostatics, the newly developed D4 dispersion energy model, Drude oscillators for polarization, and a charge-transfer term. Only one element-specific and about 20 global empirical parameters are needed to cover systems with nuclear charges up to radon (Z = 86). The method is tested for standard small molecule interaction energy benchmark sets where it provides accurate intermolecular energies and equilibrium distances. Examples for structures with a few hundred atoms including charged systems demonstrate the versatility of the approach. The method is implemented in a stand-alone computer code which enables rigid-body, global minimum energy searches for molecular aggregation or alignment.