• Effects of Electron-Phonon Interaction in Metals

      Riseborough, Peter; Yuen, Tan; Metz, Andreas; Mendoza, Gerardo A. (Temple University. Libraries, 2010)
      Phonons and electrons are two types of excitations which are responsible for many properties of condensed matter materials. The interaction between them plays an important role in condensed matter physics. In this thesis we present some theoretical investigations of the effects due to the interactions between phonons and electrons interactions. We show evidence that a structural martensitic transition is related to significant changes in the electronic structure, as revealed in thermodynamic measurements made in high magnetic fields. The effect of the magnetic field is considered unusual, as many influential investigations of martensitic transitions have emphasized that the structural transitions are primarily lattice dynamical and are driven by the entropy due to the phonons. We provide a theoretical frame-work which can be used to describe the effect of a magnetic field on the lattice dynamics in which the field dependence originates from the dielectric constant. The temperature-dependence of the phonon spectrum of alpha-uranium has recently been measured by Manley et al. using inelastic neutron scattering and x-ray scattering techniques. Although there is scant evidence of anharmonic interactions, the phonons were reported to show some softening of the optic modes at the zone boundary. The same group of authors later reported that an extra vibrational mode was observed to form at a temperature above 450 K. The existence of the proposed new mode is inconsistent with the usual theory of harmonic phonons, as applied to a structure composed of a monoclinic Bravais lattice with a two-atom basis. We investigate the effect that the f electron-phonon interaction has on the phonon spectrum and its role on the possible formation of a breathing mode of mixed electronic and phonon character. We examine the model by using Green’s function techniques to obtain the phonon spectral density. Some materials undergo phase transitions from a high temperature state with periodic translational invariance to a state in which the electronic charge density is modulated periodically. The wave vector of the modulation may be either commensurate or incommensurate with the reciprocal lattice vectors of the high temperature structure. In the case of an incommensurate charge density wave, the system supports phason excitation. For an incommensurate state, the new ground state has a lower symmetry than the high temperature state since the charge density does not have long-ranged periodic translational order. If the metal is ideal (with no impurities), a charge density wave should be able to slide throughout the crystal without resistance, resulting in current flow similar to that of a superconductor. The phason is an excitation of the charge density wave which is related to the collective motion of electrons. We estimate the phason density of states, and the phason contribution to the specific heat. Angle-resolved photoemission experiments have been performed on USb2, and very narrow quasiparticle peaks have been observed in a band which local spin-density approximation (LSDA) predicts to osculate the Fermi energy. The observed band is found to be depressed by 17 meV below the Fermi energy. The experimentally observed quasiparticle dispersion relation for this band exhibits a kink at an energy of about 23 meV below the Fermi energy. The kink is not found in LSDA calculations and, therefore, is attributable to a change in the quasiparticle mass renormalization by a factor of approximately 2. The existence of a kink in the quasiparticle dispersion relation of a band which does not cross the Fermi energy is unprecedented. The kink in the quasiparticle dispersion relation is attributed to the effect of the interband self-energy involving transitions from the osculating band into a band that does cross the Fermi energy.