Grid-Based Projector Augmented Wave (GPAW) Implementation of Quantum Mechanics/Molecular Mechanics (QM/MM) Electrostatic Embedding and Application to a Solvated Diplatinum Complex

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleScientificpeer-review


  • A. O. Dohn
  • E. O. Jónsson
  • G. Levi
  • J. J. Mortensen
  • O. Lopez-Acevedo
  • K. S. Thygesen
  • K. W. Jacobsen
  • J. Ulstrup
  • N. E. Henriksen
  • K. B. Møller
  • H. Jónsson

Research units

  • University of Iceland
  • Technical University of Denmark
  • Universidad de Medellín


A multiscale density functional theory-quantum mechanics/molecular mechanics (DFT-QM/MM) scheme is presented, based on an efficient electrostatic coupling between the electronic density obtained from a grid-based projector augmented wave (GPAW) implementation of density functional theory and a classical potential energy function. The scheme is implemented in a general fashion and can be used with various choices for the descriptions of the QM or MM regions. Tests on H2O clusters, ranging from dimer to decamer show that no systematic energy errors are introduced by the coupling that exceeds the differences in the QM and MM descriptions. Over 1 ns of liquid water, Born-Oppenheimer QM/MM molecular dynamics (MD) are sampled combining 10 parallel simulations, showing consistent liquid water structure over the QM/MM border. The method is applied in extensive parallel MD simulations of an aqueous solution of the diplatinum [Pt2(P2O5H2)4]4- complex (PtPOP), spanning a total time period of roughly half a nanosecond. An average Pt-Pt distance deviating only 0.01 Å from experimental results, and a ground-state Pt-Pt oscillation frequency deviating by <2% from experimental results were obtained. The simulations highlight a remarkable harmonicity of the Pt-Pt oscillation, while also showing clear signs of Pt-H hydrogen bonding and directional coordination of water molecules along the Pt-Pt axis of the complex.


Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)6010-6022
Number of pages13
JournalJournal of Chemical Theory and Computation
Issue number12
Publication statusPublished - 12 Dec 2017
MoE publication typeA1 Journal article-refereed

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