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Field-Extremum Model for Short-Range Contributions to Hydration Free Energy

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journal contribution
posted on 13.12.2011, 00:00 authored by Anna Pomogaeva, Daniel M. Chipman
The performance in describing hydration free energies of a broad class of neutral, cationic, and anionic solutes is tested for the recently proposed FESR (Field-Extremum Short-Range) implicit solvation model for interactions between the solute and nearby water molecules, as taken in conjunction with the previously developed SS(V)PE (Surface and Simulation of Volume Polarization for Electrostatics) dielectric continuum model for long-range interactions with bulk water. The empirical FESR model mainly describes solute–water hydrogen bonding interactions by correlating them with the maximum and minimum values of the electric field produced by the solute at the surface of the cavity that excludes solvent. A preliminary report showed that, with only four adjustable parameters, the FESR model, in conjunction with SS(V)PE, can produce hydration energies comparable to the best analogous efforts in the literature that utilized many more parameters. Here, the performance of the FESR model is more fully documented in several respects. The dependence on the underlying quantum mechanical method used to treat the internal electronic structure of the solute is tested by comparing uncorrelated Hartree–Fock to correlated density functional calculations and by comparing a modest sized to a large basis set. The influence of cavity size is studied in connection with an isodensity contour construction of the cavity. The sensitivity of the results to the parameters in the FESR model is considered, and it is found that the dependence on the electric field strength is quite nonlinear, with an optimum exponent consistently in the range of 3 to 4. Overall, it is concluded that the FESR model shows considerable utility for improving the accuracy of implicit models of aqueous solvation.