Correlated phonons and the Tc-dependent dynamical phonon anomalies
Physical Review B - Condensed Matter and Materials Physics
American Physical Society
11174 - 11183
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Anomalously large low-temperature phonon anharmonicities can lead to static as well as dynamical changes in the low-temperature properties of the electron-phonon system. In this work, we focus our attention on the dynamically generated low-temperature correlations in an interacting electron-phonon system using a self-consistent dynamical approach in the intermediate coupling range. In the context of the model, the polaron correlations are produced by the charge-density fluctuations which are generated dynamically by the electron-phonon coupling. Conversely, the latter is influenced in the presence of the former. The purpose of this work is to examine the dynamics of this dual mechanism between the two using the illustrative Fröhlich model. In particular, the influence of the low-temperature phonon dynamics on the superconducting properties in the intermediate coupling range is investigated. The influence on the Holstein reduction factor as well as the enhancement in the zero-point fluctuations and in the electron-phonon coupling are calculated numerically. We also examine these effects in the presence of superconductivity. Within this model, the contribution of the electron-phonon interaction as one of the important elements in the mechanisms of superconductivity can reach values as high as 15-20% of the characteristic scale of the lattice vibrational energy. The second motivation of this work is to understand the nature of the Tc-dependent temperature anomalies observed in the Debye-Waller factor, dynamical pair correlations, and average atomic vibrational energies for a number of high-temperature superconductors. In our approach we do not claim nor believe that the electron-phonon interaction is the primary mechanism leading to high-temperature superconductivity. Nevertheless, our calculations suggest that the dynamically induced low-temperature phonon correlation model can account for these anomalies and illustrates their possible common origin. Finally, the relevance of incorporating these low-temperature effects into more realistic models of high-temperature superconductivity including both the charge and spin degrees and other similar ideas existing in the literature are discussed.