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See detailDFTB+, a software package for efficient approximate density functional theory based atomistic simulations
Hourahine, Ben; Aradi, Bálint; Blum, Volker et al

in The Journal of Chemical Physics (2020), 152(12), 124101

DFTB+ is a versatile community developed open source software package offering fast and efficient methods for carrying out atomistic quantum mechanical simulations. By implementing various methods ... [more ▼]

DFTB+ is a versatile community developed open source software package offering fast and efficient methods for carrying out atomistic quantum mechanical simulations. By implementing various methods approximating density functional theory (DFT), such as the density functional based tight binding (DFTB) and the extended tight binding method, it enables simulations of large systems and long timescales with reasonable accuracy while being considerably faster for typical simulations than the respective ab initio methods. Based on the DFTB framework, it additionally offers approximated versions of various DFT extensions including hybrid functionals, time dependent formalism for treating excited systems, electron transport using non-equilibrium Green’s functions, and many more. DFTB+ can be used as a user-friendly standalone application in addition to being embedded into other software packages as a library or acting as a calculation-server accessed by socket communication. We give an overview of the recently developed capabilities of the DFTB+ code, demonstrating with a few use case examples, discuss the strengths and weaknesses of the various features, and also discuss on-going developments and possible future perspectives. [less ▲]

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See detailQuantum mechanics of proteins in explicit water: The role of plasmon-like solute-solvent interactions
Stoehr, Martin UL; Tkatchenko, Alexandre UL

in Science Advances (2019), 5(12), 0024

Quantum-mechanical van der Waals dispersion interactions play an essential role in intraprotein and protein-water interactions—the two main factors affecting the structure and dynamics of proteins in ... [more ▼]

Quantum-mechanical van der Waals dispersion interactions play an essential role in intraprotein and protein-water interactions—the two main factors affecting the structure and dynamics of proteins in water. Typically, these interactions are only treated phenomenologically, via pairwise potential terms in classical force fields. Here, we use an explicit quantum-mechanical approach of density-functional tight-binding combined with the many-body dispersion formalism and demonstrate the relevance of many-body van der Waals forces both to protein energetics and to protein-water interactions. In contrast to commonly used pairwise approaches, many-body effects substantially decrease the relative stability of native states in the absence of water. Upon solvation, the protein-water dispersion interaction counteracts this effect and stabilizes native conformations and transition states. These observations arise from the highly delocalized and collective character of the interactions, suggesting a remarkable persistence of electron correlation through aqueous environments and providing the basis for long-range interaction mechanisms in biomolecular systems. [less ▲]

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See detailTheory and practice of modeling van der Waals interactions in electronic-structure calculations
Stoehr, Martin UL; Van Voorhis, Troy; Tkatchenko, Alexandre UL

in Chemical Society Reviews (2019), 48

The accurate description of long-range electron correlation, most prominently including van der Waals (vdW) dispersion interactions, represents a particularly challenging task in the modeling of molecules ... [more ▼]

The accurate description of long-range electron correlation, most prominently including van der Waals (vdW) dispersion interactions, represents a particularly challenging task in the modeling of molecules and materials. vdW forces arise from the interaction of quantum-mechanical fluctuations in the electronic charge density. Within (semi-)local density functional approximations or Hartree–Fock theory such interactions are neglected altogether. Non-covalent vdW interactions, however, are ubiquitous in nature and play a key role for the understanding and accurate description of the stability, dynamics, structure, and response properties in a plethora of systems. During the last decade, many promising methods have been developed for modeling vdW interactions in electronic-structure calculations. These methods include vdW-inclusive Density Functional Theory and correlated post-Hartree–Fock approaches. Here, we focus on the methods within the framework of Density Functional Theory, including non-local van der Waals density functionals, interatomic dispersion models within many-body and pairwise formulation, and random phase approximation-based approaches. This review aims to guide the reader through the theoretical foundations of these methods in a tutorial-style manner and, in particular, highlight practical aspects such as the applicability and the advantages and shortcomings of current vdW-inclusive approaches. In addition, we give an overview of complementary experimental approaches, and discuss tools for the qualitative understanding of non-covalent interactions as well as energy decomposition techniques. Besides representing a reference for the current state-of-the-art, this work is thus also designed as a concise and detailed introduction to vdW-inclusive electronic structure calculations for a general and broad audience. [less ▲]

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