Multi-level quantum monte Carlo wave functions for complex reactions: The decomposition of α-hydroxy-dimethylnitrosamine

F. Fracchia, Claudia Filippi, C. Amovilli

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleAcademicpeer-review

4 Citations (Scopus)


We present here several novel features of our recently proposed Jastrow linear generalized valence bond (J-LGVB) wave functions, which allow a consistently accurate description of complex potential energy surfaces (PES) of medium-large systems within quantum Monte Carlo (QMC). In particular, we develop a multilevel scheme to treat different regions of the molecule at different levels of the theory. As prototypical study case, we investigate the decomposition of α-hydroxy-dimethylnitrosamine, a carcinogenic metabolite of dimethylnitrosamine (NDMA), through a two-step mechanism of isomerization followed by a retro-ene reaction. We compute a reliable reaction path with the quadratic configuration interaction method and employ QMC for the calculation of the electronic energies. We show that the use of multideterminantal wave functions is very important to correctly describe the critical points of this PES within QMC, and that our multilevel J-LGVB approach is an effective tool to significantly reduce the cost of QMC calculations without loss of accuracy. As regards the complex PES of α-hydroxy-dimethylnitrosamine, the accurate energies computed with our approach allows us to confirm the validity of the two-step reaction mechanism of decomposition originally proposed within density functional theory, but with some important differences in the barrier heights of the individual steps
Original languageUndefined
Pages (from-to)30-38
Number of pages9
JournalJournal of computational chemistry
Issue number1
Publication statusPublished - 2014


  • METIS-306977
  • IR-95006

Cite this