QM/MM Investigations Of Organic Chemistry Oriented Questions

Institut für Phys. und Theor. Chemie, Emil-Fischer-Strasse 42, Campus Hubland Nord, 97074, Würzburg, Germany.
Topics in current chemistry (Impact Factor: 4.46). 03/2012; 351. DOI: 10.1007/128_2011_309
Source: PubMed

ABSTRACT About 35 years after its first suggestion, QM/MM became the standard theoretical approach to investigate enzymatic structures and processes. The success is due to the ability of QM/MM to provide an accurate atomistic picture of enzymes and related processes. This picture can even be turned into a movie if nuclei-dynamics is taken into account to describe enzymatic processes. In the field of organic chemistry, QM/MM methods are used to a much lesser extent although almost all relevant processes happen in condensed matter or are influenced by complicated interactions between substrate and catalyst. There is less importance for theoretical organic chemistry since the influence of nonpolar solvents is rather weak and the effect of polar solvents can often be accurately described by continuum approaches. Catalytic processes (homogeneous and heterogeneous) can often be reduced to truncated model systems, which are so small that pure quantum-mechanical approaches can be employed. However, since QM/MM becomes more and more efficient due to the success in software and hardware developments, it is more and more used in theoretical organic chemistry to study effects which result from the molecular nature of the environment. It is shown by many examples discussed in this review that the influence can be tremendous, even for nonpolar reactions. The importance of environmental effects in theoretical spectroscopy was already known. Due to its benefits, QM/MM can be expected to experience ongoing growth for the next decade.In the present chapter we give an overview of QM/MM developments and their importance in theoretical organic chemistry, and review applications which give impressions of the possibilities and the importance of the relevant effects. Since there is already a bunch of excellent reviews dealing with QM/MM, we will discuss fundamental ingredients and developments of QM/MM very briefly with a focus on very recent progress. For the applications we follow a similar strategy.

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