How fluxional reactants limit the accuracy/efficiency of infrequent metadynamics

Salman A. Khan, Bradley M. Dickson, Baron Peters

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


In an infrequent metadynamics (iMetaD) simulation, a well-tempered metadynamics bias accumulates in the reactant basin, accelerating escapes to the product state. Like the earlier hyperdynamics strategy, iMetaD enables estimates of the unbiased escape rates. However, iMetaD applies the bias to visited locations in a collective variable (CV) space, not to the more specific visited locations in a full configuration space as done in hyperdynamics. This difference makes rate estimates from iMetaD sensitive to the choice of CVs, to parameters that control the bias deposition rate, and to the preparation of the initial state within the reactant basin. This paper uses an extremely simple discrete state model to illustrate complications that can arise in systems that exhibit fluxional transitions between sub-basins of the reactant state. Specifically, we show how the reactant-to-product escape time and relaxation times within the reactant basin(s) impose bounds on the admissible parameter choices for an iMetaD calculation. Predictions from the discrete state model are validated by iMetaD simulations on a corresponding two-dimensional potential energy surface.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Article number054125
JournalJournal of Chemical Physics
Issue number5
StatePublished - Aug 7 2020

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Physics and Astronomy(all)
  • Physical and Theoretical Chemistry


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