LigandDiff: 3D Transition Metal Complex Generation with Diffusion Models

13 February 2024, Version 1
This content is a preprint and has not undergone peer review at the time of posting.


Transition metal complexes are a class of compounds with varied and versatile properties making them of great technological importance. Their applications cover a wide range of fields, either as metallodrugs in medicine or as materials, catalysts, batteries, solar cells, etc. The demand for the novel design of transition metal complexes with new properties remains of great interest . However, the traditional high-throughput screening approach is inherently expensive and laborious since it depends on human expertise. Here, we present LigandDiff, a generative model to design novel transition metal complexes. Unlike the existing methods which simply extracts and combine ligands to the metal to get new complexes, LigandDiff aims at designing novel ligands from scratch, which opens new pathways for the discovery of organometallic complexes. Moreover, it overcomes the limitations of current methods where the diversity of new complexes highly relies on the diversity of available ligands while LigandDiff can enumerate novel ligands without human intervention. Our results indicate that LigandDiff designs unique and novel ligands under different contexts that are synthetically accessible. Moreover, LigandDiff shows good transferability by generating successful ligands for any transition metal complex.


Transition metal complexes
diffusion models


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