Ability of the PM3 Quantum Mechanical Method to Model Intermolecular Hydrogen Bonding between Neutral Molecules

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The PM3 semiempirical quantum-mechanical method was found to systematically describe intermolecular hydrogen bonding in small polar molecules. PM3 shows charge transfer from the donor to acceptor molecules on the order of 0.02-0.06 units of charge when strong hydrogen bonds are formed. The PM3 method is predictive; calculated hydrogen bond energies with an absolute magnitude greater than 2 kcal mol-' suggest that the global minimum is a hydrogen bonded complex; absolute energies less than 2 kcal mol-' imply that other van der Waals complexes are more stable. The geometries of the PM3 hydrogen bonded complexes agree with high-resolution spectroscopic observations, gas electron diffraction data, and high-level ab initio calculations. The main limitations in the PM3 method are the underestimation of hydrogen bond lengths by 0.1-0.2 for some systems and the underestimation of reliable experimental hydrogen bond energies by approximately 1-2 kcal mol-l. The PM3 method predicts that ammonia is a good hydrogen bond acceptor and a poor hydrogen donor when interacting with neutral molecules. Electronegativity differences between F, N, and 0 predict that donor strength follows the order F > 0 > N and acceptor strength follows the order N > 0 > F. In the calculations presented in this article, the PM3 method mirrors these electronegativity differences, predicting the F-H- - -N bond to be the strongest and the N-H- - -F bond the weakest. It appears that the PM3 Hamiltonian is able to model hydrogen bonding because of the reduction of two-center repulsive forces brought about by the parameterization of the Gaussian core-core interactions. The ability of the PM3 method to model intermolecular hydrogen bonding means reasonably accurate quantum-mechanical calculations can be applied to small biologic systems.


Journal of Computational Chemistry



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