Development of Scalable and Generalizable Machine Learned Force Field for Polymers

05 January 2023, Version 1
This content is a preprint and has not undergone peer review at the time of posting.


Understanding and predicting the properties of polymers is vital to developing tailored polymer molecules for desired applications. Classical force fields may fail to capture key properties, for example, the transport properties of certain polymer systems such as polyethylene glycol. As a solution, we present an alternative potential energy surface, a charge recursive neural network (QRNN) model trained on DFT calculations made on smaller atomic clusters that generalizes well to oligomers comprising larger atomic clusters or longer chains. We demonstrate the validity of the polymer QRNN workflow by modeling the oligomers of ethylene glycol. We apply two rounds of active learning (addition of new training clusters based on current model performance) and implement a novel model training approach that uses partial charges from a semi-empirical method. Our developed QRNN model for polymers produces stable molecular dynamics (MD) simulation trajectory and captures the dynamics of polymer chains as indicated by the striking agreement with experimental values. Our model allows working on much larger systems than allowed by DFT simulations, at the same time providing a more accurate force field than classical force fields which provides a promising avenue for large-scale molecular simulations of polymeric systems.


molecular dynamics
neural network potential
dynamics prediction
machine-learned force field
charge recursive neural network

Supplementary materials

Supplementary Information
We provide additional data on cluster sampling and modeling methods in the Supplementary Information file.


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