Direct free Energy calculation in the continuous fractional component Gibbs ensemble

Ali Poursaeidesfahani, A Torres-Knoop, David Dubbeldam, Thijs Vlugt

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleScientificpeer-review

44 Citations (Scopus)


A new formulation of the Gibbs ensemble (GE) combined with the continuous fractional component Monte Carlo method is presented. In the proposed formulation, only a single fractional molecule per component is used instead of two in the original formulation by Shi and Maginn ( J. Comput. Chem. 2008, 29, 2520−2530). This has the following advantages: (1) one directly obtains chemical potentials, without using test particles. We show analytically that the expressions for the chemical potential are identical to those in the conventional Gibbs ensemble; (2) biasing is applied to each simulation box independently; (3) maximum allowed changes in the scaling parameter of intermolecular interactions can be chosen differently in each simulation box. Obtaining chemical potentials directly facilitates thermodynamic modeling using equations of state, and it can be used as an independent check to ensure that chemical equilibrium is achieved. As a proof of principle, our method is tested for Lennard-Jones (LJ) particles and the TIP3P-Ew water model. Results are compared with the conventional GE. Excellent agreement was found both for average densities and chemical potentials. In our new approach, the acceptance probability for molecule exchanges between the boxes is much higher (typically larger than 40% for LJ particles) than for the conventional GE (typically lower than 2% for LJ particles). It is also shown that the contribution of the fractional molecule should be disregarded when computing ensemble averages such as the average energy per molecule and the average densities. The algorithm can be easily extended to mixtures and molecules with intramolecular interactions.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1481-1490
JournalJournal of chemical theory and computation
Issue number4
Publication statusPublished - 2016


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