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      Pairing in magic-angle twisted bilayer graphene: role of phonon and plasmon umklapp

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          Abstract

          Identifying the microscopic mechanism for superconductivity in magic-angle twisted bilayer graphene (MATBG) is an outstanding open problem. While MATBG exhibits a rich phase-diagram, driven partly by the strong interactions relative to the electronic bandwidth, its single-particle properties are unique and likely play an important role in some of the phenomenological complexity. Some of the salient features include an electronic bandwidth smaller than the characteristic phonon bandwidth and a non-trivial structure of the underlying Bloch wavefunctions. We perform a systematic theoretical study of the cooperative effects due to phonons and plasmons on pairing in order to disentangle the distinct role played by these modes on superconductivity. We consider a variant of MATBG with an enlarged number of fermion flavors, \(N \gg 1\), where the study of pairing instabilities reduces to the conventional (weak-coupling) Eliashberg framework. In particular, we show that certain umklapp processes involving mini-optical phonon modes, which arise physically as a result of the folding of the original acoustic branch of graphene due to the moir\'e superlattice structure, contribute significantly towards enhancing pairing. We also investigate the role played by the dynamics of the screened Coulomb interaction on pairing, which leads to an enhancement in a narrow window of fillings, and study the effect of external screening due to a metallic gate on superconductivity. We propose a smoking-gun experiment to detect resonant features associated with the phonon-umklapp processes in the differential conductance and also discuss experimental implications of a pairing mechanism relying on plasmons.

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          Author and article information

          Journal
          29 July 2020
          Article
          2007.15002
          1e549d0a-5300-4c51-804f-7e63ea9a4af6

          http://arxiv.org/licenses/nonexclusive-distrib/1.0/

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          Custom metadata
          19 pages, 7 figures
          cond-mat.supr-con cond-mat.mes-hall cond-mat.str-el

          Condensed matter,Nanophysics
          Condensed matter, Nanophysics

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