Geometry‐dependent atomic charges: Methodology and application to alkanes, aldehydes, ketones, and amides

U. Dinur, A. T. Hagler

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

45 Scopus citations


A general methodology for deriving geometry‐dependent atomic charges is presented. The main ingredient of the method is a model that describes the molecular dipole moment in terms of geometry‐dependent point charges. The parameters of the model are determined from ab initio calculations of molecular dipole moments and their Cartesian derivatives at various molecular geometries. Transferability of the parameters is built into the model by fitting ab initio calculations for various molecules simultaneously. The results show that charge flux along the bonds is a major contributing factor to the geometry dependence of the atomic charges, with additional contributions from fluxes along valence angles and adjacent bonds. Torsion flux is found to be smaller in magnitude than the bond and valence angle fluxes but is not always unimportant. A set of electrostatic parameters is presented for alkanes, aldehydes, ketones, and amides. Transferability of these parameters for a host of molecules is established to within 3 −5% error in the predicted dipole moments. A possible extension of the method to include atomic dipoles is outlined. With the inclusion of such atomic dipoles and with the set of transferable point charges and charge flux parameters, it is demonstrated that molecular electrostatic potentials as well as electrostatic forces on nuclei can be reproduced much better than is possible with other models (such as potential derived charges). © 1995 by John Wiley & Sons, Inc.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)154-170
Number of pages17
JournalJournal of Computational Chemistry
Issue number2
StatePublished - 1 Jan 1995

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • General Chemistry
  • Computational Mathematics


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