The Lennard-Jones potential is the most widely-used function for the description of non-bonded interactions in transferable force fields for the condensed phase. This is not because it has an optimal functional form, but rather it is a legacy resulting from when computational expense was a major consideration and this potential was particularly convenient numerically. At present, it persists because the effort that would be required to re-write molecular modelling software and train new force fields has, until now, been prohibitive. Here, we present smirnoff-plugins as a flexible framework to extend the Open Force Field software stack to allow custom force field functional forms. We deploy smirnoff-plugins with the automated Open Force Field infrastructure to train a transferable, small molecule force field based on the recently-proposed double exponential functional form, on over 1000 experimental condensed phase properties. Extensive testing of the resulting force field shows improvements in transfer free energies, with acceptable conformational energetics, run times and convergence properties compared to state-of-the-art Lennard-Jones based force fields.
Supporting Information for: A transferable double exponential potential for condensed phase simulations of small molecules
Buckingham 6-8 potential information, change in force field parameters on optimisation, water model analysis, test set statistics, convergence data, computational details (PDF).