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To facilitate further development of approximate quantum mechanical methods for condensed phase applications, we present a new benchmark dataset of intermolecular interaction energies in the solution phase for a set of 15 dimers, each containing one charged monomer. The reference interaction energy in solution is computed via a thermodynamic cycle that integrates dimer binding energy in the gas phase at the coupled cluster level and solute-solvent interaction with density functional theory; the estimated uncertainty of such calculated interaction energy is ??1.5 kcal/mol. The dataset is used to benchmark the performance of a set of semi-empirical quantum mechanical (SQM) methods that include DFTB3-D3, DFTB3/CPE-D3, OM2-D3, PM6-D3, PM6-D3H+, and PM7 as well as the HF-3c method. We find that while all tested SQM methods tend to underestimate binding energies in the gas phase with a root-mean-squared error (RMSE) of 2-5 kcal/mol, they overestimate binding energies in the solution phase with an RMSE of 3-4 kcal/mol, with the exception of DFTB3/CPE-D3 and OM2-D3, for which the systematic deviation is less pronounced. In addition, we find that HF-3c systematically overestimates binding energies in both gas and solution phases. As most approximate QM methods are parametrized and evaluated using data measured or calculated in the gas phase, the dataset represents an important first step toward calibrating QM based methods for application in the condensed phase where polarization and exchange repulsion need to be treated in a balanced fashion.

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A year ago I thought I'd probably publish seven papers in 2017:Accepted1. Protein structure refinement using a quantum mechanics-based chemical shielding predictor2. Prediction of pKa values for drug-like molecules using semiempirical quantum chemical methodsProbable3....
In January I wrote about the papers I plan to publish and made this list:Accepted1. Protein structure refinement using a quantum mechanics-based chemical shielding predictor2. Prediction of pKa values for drug-like molecules using semiempirical quantum...