Monday, December 21, 2009

Electrostatic potential maps

Figure 3.4. (a) Contour plot of the electrostatic potential of H2O. The maximum and minimum contour value is 0.5 Hartrees/electronic charge (au). (b) The corresponding 0.05 au isopotential surface. (c) The electrostatic potential displayed on the 0.002 au isodensity surface of water. The maximum (darkest blue) value corresponds to 0.05 au.
From Molecular Modeling Basics CRC Press, May 2010.

Here is a screencast of how I made the figure:

The files I used were created in a previous post. The various values specified above are determined using trial and error, i.e. I kept fiddling with it until it looked good to me. When using plots like this it is important to specify these values, because using different values can lead to very different looking plots.

Also, different programs use different color scales and color intensity to indicate positive and negative charge, so it is rarely possible to directly compare electrostatic potential maps from different programs.

See this post about using screen capture to get a file with the graphic. This was done for each plot, and the combined in a word processor.

The interactive version of this figure is the subject of a future post.
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