Publication: Systematic study of electron-phonon coupling to oxygen modes across the cuprates

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Title Systematic study of electron-phonon coupling to oxygen modes across the cuprates
Authors/Editors* Johnston, S. and Vernay F. and Moritz, B. and Shen, Z.-X. and Nagaosa, N. and Zaanen J. and Devereaux T. P.
Where published* Physical Review B
How published* Journal
Year* 2010
Volume 82
Pages 064513
The large variations in Tc across the cuprate families is one of the major unsolved puzzles in condensed matter physics and is poorly understood. Although there appears to be a great deal of universality in the cuprates, several orders of magnitude changes in Tc can be achieved through changes in the chemical composition and structure of the unit cell. In this paper we formulate a systematic examination of the variations in electron-phonon coupling to oxygen phonons in the cuprates, incorporating a number of effects arising from several aspects of chemical composition and doping across cuprate families. It is argued that the electron-phonon coupling is a very sensitive probe of the material-dependent variations in chemical structure, affecting the orbital character of the band crossing the Fermi level, the strength of local electric fields arising from structural-induced symmetry breaking, doping-dependent changes in the underlying band structure, and ionicity of the crystal governing the ability of the material to screen c -axis perturbations. Using electrostatic Ewald calculations and known experimental structural data, we establish a connection between the material’s maximal Tc at optimal doping and the strength of coupling to c -axis modes. We demonstrate that materials with the largest coupling to the out-of-phase bond-buckling (B1g) oxygen phonon branch also have the largest Tc ’s. In light of this observation we present model Tc calculations using a two-well model where phonons work in conjunction with a dominant pairing interaction, presumably due to spin fluctuations, indicating how phonons can generate sizeable enhancements to Tc despite the relatively small coupling strengths. Combined, these results can provide a natural framework for understanding the doping and material dependence of Tc across the cuprates.

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