Leveraging Gibbs Ensemble Molecular Dynamics and Hybrid Monte Carlo/Molecular Dynamics for Efficient Study of Phase Equilibria

We describe an extension of the Gibbs ensemble molecular dynamics (GEMD) method for studying phase equilibria. Our modifications to GEMD allow for direct control over particle transfer between phases and improve the method’s numerical stability. Additionally, we found that the modified GEMD approach had advantages in computational efficiency in comparison to a hybrid Monte Carlo (MC)/MD Gibbs ensemble scheme in the context of the single component Lennard-Jones fluid. We note that this increase in computational efficiency does not compromise the close agreement of phase equilibrium results between the two methods. However, numerical instabilities in the GEMD scheme hamper GEMD’s use near the critical point. We propose that the computationally efficient GEMD simulations can be used to map out the majority of the phase window, with hybrid MC/MD used as a follow up for conditions under which GEMD may be unstable (e.g., near-critical behavior). In this manner, we can capitalize on the contrasting strengths of these two methods to enable the efficient study of phase equilibria for systems that present challenges for a purely stochastic GEMC method, such as dense or low temperature systems, and/or those with complex molecular topologies.