Jump to main content
Jump to site search


Low dimensional representations along intrinsic reaction coordinates and molecular dynamics trajectories using interatomic distance matrices

Author affiliations

Abstract

Most chemical transformations (reactions or conformational changes) that are of interest to researchers have many degrees of freedom, usually too many to visualize without reducing the dimensionality of the system to include only the most important atomic motions. In this article, we describe a method of using Principal Component Analysis (PCA) for analyzing a series of molecular geometries (e.g., a reaction pathway or molecular dynamics trajectory) and determining the reduced dimensional space that captures the most structural variance in the fewest dimensions. The software written to carry out this method is called PathReducer, which permits (1) visualizing the geometries in a reduced dimensional space, (2) determining the axes that make up the reduced dimensional space, and (3) projecting the series of geometries into the low-dimensional space for visualization. We investigated two options to represent molecular structures within PathReducer: aligned Cartesian coordinates and matrices of interatomic distances. We found that interatomic distance matrices better captured non-linear motions in a smaller number of dimensions. To demonstrate the utility of PathReducer, we have carried out a number of applications where we have projected molecular dynamics trajectories into a reduced dimensional space defined by an intrinsic reaction coordinate. The visualizations provided by this analysis show that dynamic paths can differ greatly from the minimum energy pathway on a potential energy surface. Viewing intrinsic reaction coordinates and trajectories in this way provides a quick way to gather qualitative information about the pathways trajectories take relative to a minimum energy path. Given that the outputs from PCA are linear combinations of the input molecular structure coordinates (i.e., Cartesian coordinates or interatomic distances), they can be easily transferred to other types of calculations that require the definition of a reduced dimensional space (e.g., biased molecular dynamics simulations).

Graphical abstract: Low dimensional representations along intrinsic reaction coordinates and molecular dynamics trajectories using interatomic distance matrices

Back to tab navigation

Supplementary files

Publication details

The article was received on 05 Jun 2019, accepted on 23 Aug 2019 and first published on 18 Sep 2019


Article type: Edge Article
DOI: 10.1039/C9SC02742D
Chem. Sci., 2019, Advance Article
  • Open access: Creative Commons BY license
    All publication charges for this article have been paid for by the Royal Society of Chemistry

  •   Request permissions

    Low dimensional representations along intrinsic reaction coordinates and molecular dynamics trajectories using interatomic distance matrices

    S. R. Hare, L. A. Bratholm, D. R. Glowacki and B. K. Carpenter, Chem. Sci., 2019, Advance Article , DOI: 10.1039/C9SC02742D

    This article is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 3.0 Unported Licence. Material from this article can be used in other publications provided that the correct acknowledgement is given with the reproduced material.

    Reproduced material should be attributed as follows:

    • For reproduction of material from NJC:
      [Original citation] - Published by The Royal Society of Chemistry (RSC) on behalf of the Centre National de la Recherche Scientifique (CNRS) and the RSC.
    • For reproduction of material from PCCP:
      [Original citation] - Published by the PCCP Owner Societies.
    • For reproduction of material from PPS:
      [Original citation] - Published by The Royal Society of Chemistry (RSC) on behalf of the European Society for Photobiology, the European Photochemistry Association, and RSC.
    • For reproduction of material from all other RSC journals:
      [Original citation] - Published by The Royal Society of Chemistry.

    Information about reproducing material from RSC articles with different licences is available on our Permission Requests page.

Search articles by author

Spotlight

Advertisements