Intramolecular BSSE and dispersion affect the structure of a dipeptide conformer

Rabia Hameed, Afsar Khan, Tanja Van Mourik

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4 Citations (Scopus)


B3LYP and MP2 calculations with the commonly-used 6-31+G(d) basis set predict qualitatively different structures for the Tyr-Gly conformer book1, which is the most stable conformer identified in a previous study (Mol. Phys. 104, 559-570, 2006). The structures differ mainly in the ψTyr Ramachandran angle (138° in the B3LYP structure and 120° in the MP2 structure). The causes for the discrepant structures are attributed to missing dispersion in the B3LYP calculations and large intramolecular BSSE in the MP2 calculations. The correct ψTyr value is estimated to be 130°. The MP2/6-31+G(d) profile identified an additional conformer, not present on the B3LYP surface, with a ψTyr value of 96° and a more folded structure. This minimum is however likely an artefact of large intramolecular BSSE values. We recommend the use of basis sets of at least quadruple-zeta quality in DFT, DFT-D and MP2 calculations in cases where intramolecular BSSE is expected to be large.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1236-1244
Number of pages9
JournalMolecular Physics
Issue number9
Early online date26 Dec 2017
Publication statusPublished - 2018


  • Tyrosine-glycine
  • Basis set superposition error
  • Density functional theory
  • MP2
  • DFT-D


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