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Pure Appl. Chem., 2013, Vol. 85, No. 1, pp. 159-199

Published online 2013-01-04

Multiscale modeling of solvation in chemical and biological nanosystems and in nanoporous materials

Andriy Kovalenko

National Institute for Nanotechnology, National Research Council, and Department of Mechanical Engineering, University of Alberta, 11421 Saskatchewan Dr., Edmonton, AB, T6G 2M9, Canada

Abstract: Statistical–mechanical, 3D-RISM-KH molecular theory of solvation (3D reference interaction site model with the Kovalenko–Hirata closure) is promising as an essential part of multiscale methodology for chemical and biomolecular nanosystems in solution. 3D-RISM-KH explains the molecular mechanisms of self-assembly and conformational stability of synthetic organic rosette nanotubes (RNTs), aggregation of prion proteins and β-sheet amyloid oligomers, protein-ligand binding, and function-related solvation properties of complexes as large as the Gloeobacter violaceus pentameric ligand-gated ion channel (GLIC) and GroEL/ES chaperone. Molecular mechanics/Poisson–Boltzmann (generalized Born) surface area [MM/PB(GB)SA] post-processing of molecular dynamics (MD) trajectories involving SA empirical nonpolar terms is replaced with MM/3D-RISM-KH statistical–mechanical evaluation of the solvation thermodynamics. 3D-RISM-KH has been coupled with multiple time-step (MTS) MD of the solute biomolecule driven by effective solvation forces, which are obtained analytically by converging the 3D‑RISM-KH integral equations at outer time-steps and are calculated in between by using solvation force coordinate extrapolation (SFCE) in the subspace of previous solutions to 3D‑RISM-KH. The procedure is stabilized by the optimized isokinetic Nosé–Hoover (OIN) chain thermostatting, which enables gigantic outer time-steps up to picoseconds to accurately calculate equilibrium properties. The multiscale OIN/SFCE/3D-RISM-KH algorithm is implemented in the Amber package and illustrated on a fully flexible model of alanine dipeptide in aqueous solution, exhibiting the computational rate of solvent sampling 20 times faster than standard MD with explicit solvent. Further substantial acceleration can be achieved with 3D-RISM-KH efficiently sampling essential events with rare statistics such as exchange and localization of solvent, ions, and ligands at binding sites and pockets of the biomolecule. 3D-RISM-KH was coupled with ab initio complete active space self-consistent field (CASSCF) and orbital-free embedding (OFE) Kohn–Sham (KS) density functional theory (DFT) quantum chemistry methods in an SCF description of electronic structure, optimized geometry, and chemical reactions in solution. The (OFE)KS-DFT/3D-RISM-KH multi-scale method is implemented in the Amsterdam Density Functional (ADF) package and extensively validated against experiment for solvation thermochemistry, photochemistry, conformational equilibria, and activation barriers of various nanosystems in solvents and ionic liquids (ILs). Finally, the replica RISM-KH-VM molecular theory for the solvation structure, thermodynamics, and electrochemistry of electrolyte solutions sorbed in nanoporous materials reveals the molecular mechanisms of sorption and supercapacitance in nanoporous carbon electrodes, which is drastically different from a planar electrical double layer.