A density functional and quantum Monte Carlo study of glutamic acid in vacuo and in a dielectric continuum medium

F. Floris, Claudia Filippi, C. Amovilli

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We present density functional theory (DFT) and quantum Monte Carlo (QMC) calculations of the glutamic acid and glutamate ion in vacuo and in various dielectric continuum media within the polarizable continuum model (PCM). In DFT, we employ the integral equation formalism variant of PCM while, in QMC, we use a PCM scheme we have developed to include both surface and volume polarization. We investigate the gas-phase protonation thermochemistry of the glutamic acid using a large set of structural conformations, and find that QMC is in excellent agreement with the best available theoretical and experimental results. For the solvated glutamic acid and glutamate ion, we perform DFT calculations for dielectric constants, ε, between 4 and 78. We find that the glutamate ion in the zwitterionic form is more stable than the non-zwitterionic form over the whole range of dielectric constants, while the glutamic acid is more stable in its non-zwitterionic form at ε = 4. The dielectric constant at which the two glutamic acid species have the same energy depends on the cavity size and lies between 5 and 12.5. We validate these results with QMC for the two limiting values of the dielectric constant, and find qualitative agreement with DFT even though the solvent polarization is less pronounced at the QMC level
Original languageUndefined
Article number075102
Pages (from-to)075102-1-075102-12
Number of pages12
JournalJournal of chemical physics
Issue number7
Publication statusPublished - 2012


  • METIS-287670
  • IR-81201

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