A QUICKSTEP-based quantum mechanics molecular mechanics approach for silica
JOURNAL OF CHEMICAL PHYSICS, 124, 154707 (2006)
Quantum mechanics/molecular mechanics (QM/MM) approaches are currently used to describe several properties of silica-based systems, which are local in nature and require a quantum description of only a small number of atoms around the site of interest, e.g., local chemical reactivity or spectroscopic properties of point defects. We present a QM/MM scheme for silica suitable to be implemented in the general QM/MM framework recently developed for large scale molecular dynamics simulations, within the QUICKSTEP approach to the description of the quantum region. Our scheme has been validated by computing the structural and dynamical properties of an oxygen vacancy in alpha-quartz, a prototypical defect in silica. We have found that good convergence in the Si-Si bond length and formation energy is achieved by using a quantum cluster of only eight atoms in size. We check the suitability of the method for molecular dynamics and evaluate the Si-Si bond frequency from the velocity-velocity correlation function. (c) 2006 American Institute of Physics.