Ab initio theory of plasmonic superconductivity within the Eliashberg and density-functional formalisms

A. Davydov, A. Sanna, C. Pellegrini, J. K. Dewhurst, S. Sharma, E. K.U. Gross

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16 Scopus citations


We extend the two leading methods for the ab initio computational description of phonon-mediated superconductors, namely Eliashberg theory and density-functional theory for superconductors (SCDFT), to include plasmonic effects. Furthermore, we introduce a hybrid formalism in which the Eliashberg approximation for the electron-phonon coupling is combined with the SCDFT treatment of the dynamically screened Coulomb interaction. The methods have been tested on a set of well-known conventional superconductors by studying how the plasmon contribution affects the phononic mechanism in determining the critical temperature (TC). Our simulations show that plasmonic SCDFT leads to a good agreement between predicted and measured TC's, whereas Eliashberg theory considerably overestimates the plasmon-mediated pairing and, therefore, TC. The hybrid approach, on the other hand, gives results close to SCDFT and overall in excellent agreement with experiments.

Original languageAmerican English
Article number214508
JournalPhysical Review B
Issue number21
StatePublished - 21 Dec 2020

Bibliographical note

Funding Information:
We acknowledge financial support by the European Research Council Advanced Grant FACT (ERC-2017-AdG-788890) and German Research Foundation (DFG) through SPP 1840 QUTIF, Grant No. 498/3-1.

Publisher Copyright:
© 2020 authors. Published by the American Physical Society. Open access publication funded by the Max Planck Society.


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