GFN2-xTB - an Accurate and Broadly Parametrized Self-Consistent Tight-Binding Quantum Chemical Method with Multipole Electrostatics and Density-Dependent Dispersion Contributions

An extended semiempirical tight-binding model is presented, which is primarily designed for the fast calculation of structures and non-covalent interactions energies for molecular systems with roughly 1000 atoms. The essential novelty in this so-called GFN2-xTB method is the inclusion of anisotropic second order density fluctuation effects via short-range damped interactions of cumulative atomic multipole moments. Without noticeable increase in the computational demands, this results in a less empirical and overall more physically sound method, which does not require any classical halogen or hydrogen bonding corrections and which relies solely on global and element-specific parameters (available up to radon, <i>Z=86</i>). Moreover, the atomic partial charge dependent D4 London dispersion model is incorporated self-consistently, which can be naturally obtained in a tight-binding picture from second order density fluctuations. Fully analytical and numerically precise gradients (nuclear forces) are implemented. The accuracy of the method is benchmarked for a wide variety of systems and compared with other semiempirical methods. Along with excellent performance for the “target” properties, we also find lower errors for “off-target” properties such as barrier heights and molecular dipole moments. High computational efficiency along with the improved physics compared to it precursor GFN-xTB makes this method well-suited to explore the conformational space of molecular systems. Significant improvements are futhermore observed for various benchmark sets, which are prototypical for biomolecular systems in aqueous solution.<br><br>