Fast and Accurate Machine Learning Strategy for Calculating Partial Atomic Charges in Metal-Organic Frameworks

Srinivasu Kancharlapalli, Arun Gopalan, Maciej Haranczyk, Randall Q. Snurr*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

24 Scopus citations


Computational high-throughput screening using molecular simulations is a powerful tool for identifying top-performing metal-organic frameworks (MOFs) for gas storage and separation applications. Accurate partial atomic charges are often required to model the electrostatic interactions between the MOF and the adsorbate, especially when the adsorption involves molecules with dipole or quadrupole moments such as water and CO2. Although ab initio methods can be used to calculate accurate partial atomic charges, these methods are impractical for screening large material databases because of the high computational cost. We developed a random forest machine learning model to predict the partial atomic charges in MOFs using a small yet meaningful set of features that represent both the elemental properties and the local environment of each atom. The model was trained and tested on a collection of about 320 000 density-derived electrostatic and chemical (DDEC) atomic charges calculated on a subset of the Computation-Ready Experimental Metal-Organic Framework (CoRE MOF-2019) database and separately on charge model 5 (CM5) charges. The model predicts accurate atomic charges for MOFs at a fraction of the computational cost of periodic density functional theory (DFT) and is found to be transferable to other porous molecular crystals and zeolites. A strong correlation is observed between the partial atomic charge and the average electronegativity difference between the central atom and its bonded neighbors.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)3052-3064
Number of pages13
JournalJournal of Chemical Theory and Computation
Issue number5
StatePublished - May 11 2021

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Computer Science Applications
  • Physical and Theoretical Chemistry


Dive into the research topics of 'Fast and Accurate Machine Learning Strategy for Calculating Partial Atomic Charges in Metal-Organic Frameworks'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this