Explore Q-Chem Features

Q-Chem is a robust software platform with an extensive set of features. Whether you want to study spin-orbit coupling effects in a single-molecule magnet, run high-throughput calculations on small organic molecules, study an enzyme using QM/MM, or something entirely different, our software package offers a wide range of solutions for a variety of applications. Check out our available features and see how Q-Chem can help you achieve your research goals!

Watch webinar “Q-Chem 6: Dawn of the Next Generation”

We are pleased to present the sixth major release of the Q-Chem ab inito quantum chemistry software package, Q-Chem 6.0. Highlights in our new package include:

  • Next-generation interface of Q-Chem with external tools (generation of archive files in the HDF5 format)
  • New geometry optimizer for ground and excited state calculations
  • Analytic frequency calculations and orbital Hessians with the VV10 functional (Jiashu Liang)
  • Developments in the nuclear-electronic orbital (NEO) family of methods, including NEO-CCSD and analytical gradients and Hessians for NEO-TDDFT (Zhen (Coraline) Tao, Patrick E. Schneider, Fabijan Pavosevic, Sharon Hammes-Schiffer)
  • CCSD optical rotation evaluation (Josefine Andersen, Kaushik Nanda)

The Q-Chem 6.0 release log contains a complete list of new features and improvements. Try out the latest version of Q-Chem by installing a free Q-Chem demo.

Q-Chem supports LDA, GGA, and meta-GGA functionals, as well as hybrid, range-separated hybrid, and double hybrid versions of both GGAs and meta-GGAs. Single-point energies, geometry optimizations, vibrational frequency calculations, and many other properties can be evaluated for ground states, and for excited states via time-dependent DFT.


Q-Chem offers state-of-the-art tools for treating electron correlation effects, such as Møller-Plesset perturbation theory and coupled-cluster theory. For systems with strong correlation, Q-Chem offers specialty treatments including CASSCF, coupled-cluster valence bond theory, selected CI, RAS-CI, spin-flip, and variational 2-RDM methods.


Q-Chem provides a diverse set of methods for studying electronically excited states: CIS, TD-DFT, NOCI, EOM-CC, and ADC. Specialty flavors of these methods cover many types of electronic structure, making it possible to simulate spectroscopic features, charge and energy transfer, and non-adiabatic dynamics. Additionally, our wavefunction analysis module can be used to provide further insight into excited states.

The Q-Chem package offers a variety of solutions for modeling solvated systems, ranging from implicit solvent models, such as SM8, COSMO, and C-PCM, to the effective fragment potential method, which can be used to capture explicit solvent effects. Additionally, Q-Chem includes several different embedding approaches, including QM/MM and density embedding, as well as interfaces to CHARMM and GROMACS.

Q-Chem offers a variety of tools for modeling different types of spectra. Our capabilities include IR and Raman spectroscopy, UV-vis spectroscopy, X-ray spectroscopy, photoelectron spectroscopy, NMR spectroscopy, and nonlinear spectroscopy (such as two-photon absorption).  Spectroscopic features can be studied using many different levels of theory, ranging from TDDFT to EOM-CC and ADC methods.

Energy decomposition analysis based on absolutely localized molecular orbitals provides a breakdown of the total interaction energy into meaningful physical terms, providing insights into the nature of intermolecular and bonded interactions. Symmetry-adapted perturbation theory (SAPT) and an extended many-body version thereof (XSAPT) are also available for computing and analyzing intermolecular interactions.


Q-Chem provides methods for geometry optimization, potential energy surface scans, transition state searches, and intrinsic reaction coordinate following, making it ideal for studies of chemical reactivity, thermochemistry, and chemical kinetics.

Q-Chem can perform ab initio molecular dynamics (AIMD), including both NVE and NVT thermal samplings, as well as quasi-classical molecular dynamics (QMD). These approaches can be used to produce vibrational spectra and ab initio path integrals. We also include an implementation of Tully's fewest-switches surface hopping (FSSH) approach to effectively handle non-adiabatic systems.