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Continuum Solvation Models

Cramer, C. J.; Truhlar, D. G.
in Solvent Effects and Chemical Reactivity, Tapia, O., Bertrán, J., Eds.; Kluwer: Dordrecht, 1996; p. 1.

This chapter reviews the theoretical background for continuum models of solvation, recent advances in their implementation, and illustrative examples of their use. Continuum models are the most efficient way to include condensed-phase effects into quantum mechanical calculations, and this is typically accomplished by the using self-consistent reaction field (SCRF) approach for the electrostatic component. This approach does not automatically include the non-electrostatic component of solvation, and we review various approaches for including that aspect. The performance of various models is compared for a number of applications, with emphasis on heterocyclic tautomeric equilibria because they have been the subject of the widest variety of studies. For nonequilibrium applications, e.g., dynamics and spectroscopy, one must consider the various time scales of the solvation process and the dynamical process under consideration, and the final section of the review discusses these issues.

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