An analytical potential energy function to model protonated peptide soft-landing experiments. The CH3NH3+/CH 4 interactions

Bipasha Deb, Wenfang Hu, Kihyung Song, William L. Hase

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To model soft-landing of peptide ions on surfaces, it is important to have accurate intermolecular potentials between these ions and surfaces. As part of this goal, ab initio calculations at the MP2/aug-cc-pVTZ level of theory, with basis set superposition error (BSSE) corrections, were performed to determine both the long-range attractive and short-range repulsive potentials for CH 4 interacting with the -NH3+ group of CH 3NH3+. Potential energy curves for four different orientations between CH4 and CH3NH 3+ were determined from the calculations to obtain accurate descriptions of the interactions between the atoms of CH4 and those of -NH3+. A universal analytic function was not found that could accurately represent both the long-range and short-range potentials for collision energies as high as those obtained in surface-induced-dissociation (SID) experiments. Instead, long-range and short-range analytic potentials were developed separately, by simultaneously fitting the four ab initio potential energy curves with a sum of two-body interactions between the atoms of CH4 and -NH3 +, and then connecting these long-range and short-range two-body potentials with switching functions. Following a previous work [J. Am. Chem. Soc., 2002, 124, 1524], these two-body potentials may be used to describe the interactions of the N and H atoms of the -NH3+ group of a protonated peptide ion with the H and C atoms of alkane-type surfaces such as alkyl thiol self-assembled monolayers and H-terminated diamond. Accurate short-range and long-range potentials are imperative to model protonated peptide ion soft-landing experiments. The former controls the collision energy transfer, whereas the latter describes the binding of the ion to the surface. A comparison of the ab initio potential energy curves for CH3NH 3+/CH4 with those for NH4 +/CH4 shows that they give nearly identical two-body interactions between the atoms of -NH3+ and those of CH4, showing that the smaller NH4+/CH 4 system may be used to obtain the two-body potentials. A comparison of the four ab initio potential energy curves reported here for CH 3NH3+/CH4, with those given by the AMBER and CHARMM molecular mechanical potentials, show that these latter potentials "roughly" approximate the long-range attractions, but are grossly in error for the short-range repulsions. The work reported here illustrates that high-level ab initio calculations of intermolecular potentials between small model molecules may be used to develop accurate analytical intermolecular potentials between peptide ions and surfaces.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)4565-4572
Number of pages8
JournalPhysical Chemistry Chemical Physics
Issue number31
StatePublished - 2008


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