A Full-Dimensional Neural Network Potential-Energy Surface for Water Clusters up to the Hexamer

Tobias Morawietz 1  and Jörg Behler 1
  • 1 Lehrstuhl für Theoretische Chemie, Universitätsstraße 150, 44801 Bochum, Germany


Water clusters have attracted a lot of attention as prototype systems to study hydrogen bonded molecular aggregates but also to gain deeper insights into the properties of liquid water, the solvent of life. All these studies depend on an accurate description of the atomic interactions and countless potentials have been proposed in the literature in the past decades to represent the potential-energy surface (PES) of water. Many of these potentials employ drastic approximations like rigid monomers and fixed point charges, while on the other hand also several attempts have been made to derive very accurate PESs by fitting data obtained in high-level electronic structure calculations. In recent years artificial neural networks (NNs) have been established as a powerful tool to construct high-dimensional PESs of a variety of systems, but to date no full-dimensional NN PES for has been reported. Here, we present NN potentials for clusters containing two to six molecules trained to density functional theory (DFT) data employing two different exchange-correlation functionals, PBE and RPBE. In contrast to other potentials fitted to first principles data, these NN potentials are not based on a truncated many-body expansion of the energy but consider the interactions between all molecules explicitly. For both functionals an excellent agreement with the underlying DFT calculations has been found with binding energy errors of only about 1%.

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Founded in 1887, the Zeitschrift für Physikalische Chemie covers the main developments in physical chemistry, placing with an emphasis on experimental research. It represents a combination ofdiscusses reaction kinetics and spectroscopy, surface research and electrochemistry, thermodynamics and the structure analysis of matter in its various conditions, among other topics.