An Accurate and Simple Quantum Model for Liquid Water

TitleAn Accurate and Simple Quantum Model for Liquid Water
Publication TypeJournal Article
Year of Publication2006
AuthorsPaesani, F, Zhang, W, Case, DA, Cheatham, T. E., 3rd, Voth, GA
JournalJ Chem Phys
KeywordsChemical *Quantum Theory Water/*chemistry, Computer Simulation *Models

The path-integral molecular dynamics and centroid molecular dynamics methods have been applied to investigate the behavior of liquid water at ambient conditions starting from a recently developed simple point charge/flexible (SPC/Fw) model. Several quantum structural, thermodynamic, and dynamical properties have been computed and compared to the corresponding classical values, as well as to the available experimental data. The path-integral molecular dynamics simulations show that the inclusion of quantum effects results in a less structured liquid with a reduced amount of hydrogen bonding in comparison to its classical analog. The nuclear quantization also leads to a smaller dielectric constant and a larger diffusion coefficient relative to the corresponding classical values. Collective and single molecule time correlation functions show a faster decay than their classical counterparts. Good agreement with the experimental measurements in the low-frequency region is obtained for the quantum infrared spectrum, which also shows a higher intensity and a redshift relative to its classical analog. A modification of the original parametrization of the SPC/Fw model is suggested and tested in order to construct an accurate quantum model, called q-SPC/Fw, for liquid water. The quantum results for several thermodynamic and dynamical properties computed with the new model are shown to be in a significantly better agreement with the experimental data. Finally, a force-matching approach was applied to the q-SPC/Fw model to derive an effective quantum force field for liquid water in which the effects due to the nuclear quantization are explicitly distinguished from those due to the underlying molecular interactions. Thermodynamic and dynamical properties computed using standard classical simulations with this effective quantum potential are found in excellent agreement with those obtained from significantly more computationally demanding full centroid molecular dynamics simulations. The present results suggest that the inclusion of nuclear quantum effects into an empirical model for water enhances the ability of such model to faithfully represent experimental data, presumably through an increased ability of the model itself to capture realistic physical effects.