Efficient and direct generation of multidimensional free energy surfaces via adiabatic dynamics without coordinate transformations

Jerry B. Abrams, Mark E. Tuckerman

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Adiabatic free energy dynamics (AFED) was introduced by Rosso et al. [J. Chem. Phys. 2002, 116, 4389] for computing free energy profiles quickly and accurately using a dynamical adiabatic separation between a set of collective variables or reaction coordinates and the remaining degrees of freedom of a system. This approach has been shown to lead to a significant gain in efficiency versus traditional methods such as umbrella sampling, thermodynamic integration, and free energy perturbation for generating one-dimensional free energy profiles. More importantly, AFED is able to generate multidimensional free energy surfaces efficiently via full sweeps of the surface that rapidly map out the locations of the free energy minima. The most significant drawback to the AFED approach is the need to transform the coordinates into a generalized coordinate system that explicitly contains the collective variables of interest. Recently, Maragliano and Vanden-Eijnden built upon the AFED approach by introducing a set of extended phase-space variables, to which the adiabatic decoupling and high temperature are applied [Chem. Phys. Lett. 2006, 426, 168]. In this scheme, which the authors termed "temperature accelerated molecular dynamics" or TAMD, the need for explicit coordinate transformations is circumvented. The ability of AFED and TAMD to generate free energy surfaces efficiently depends on the thermostatting mechanism employed, since both approaches are inherently nonequilibrium due to the adiabatic decoupling. Indeed, Maragliano and Vanden-Eijnden did not report any direct generation of free energy surfaces within the overdamped Langevin dynamics employed by these authors. Here, we show that by formulating TAMD in a manner that is closer to the original AFED approach, including the generalized Gaussian moment thermostat (GGMT) and multiple time-scale integration, multidimensional free energy surfaces for complex systems can be generated directly from the probability distribution function of the extended phase-space variables. The new TAMD formulation, which we term driven AFED or d-AFED, is applied to compare the conformational preferences of small peptides both in gas phase and in solution for three force fields. The results show that d-AFED/TAMD accurately and efficiently generates free energy surfaces in two collective variables useful for characterizing the conformations, namely, the radius of gyration, R G and number of hydrogen bonds, NH.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)15742-15757
Number of pages16
JournalJournal of Physical Chemistry B
Issue number49
StatePublished - Dec 11 2008

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Physical and Theoretical Chemistry
  • Surfaces, Coatings and Films
  • Materials Chemistry


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