Massive enhancement of electron-phonon coupling in doped graphene by an electronic singularity
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Massive enhancement of electron-phonon coupling in doped graphene by an electronic singularity

  • Author(s): McChesney, Jessica L
  • Bostwick, Aaron
  • Ohta, Taisuke
  • Emtsev, Konstantin V
  • Seyller, Thomas
  • Horn, Karsten
  • Rotenberg, Eli
  • et al.
Abstract

The nature of the coupling leading to superconductivity in layered materials such as high-Tc superconductors and graphite intercalation compounds (GICs) is still unresolved. In both systems, interactions of electrons with either phonons or other electrons or both have been proposed to explain superconductivity. In the high-Tc cuprates, the presence of a Van Hove singularity (VHS) in the density of states near the Fermi level was long ago proposed to enhance the many-body couplings and therefore may play a role in superconductivity. Such a singularity can cause an anisotropic variation in the coupling strength, which may partially explain the so-called nodal-antinodal dichotomy in the cuprates. Here we show that the topology of the graphene band structure at dopings comparable to the GICs is quite similar to that of the cuprates and that the quasiparticle dynamics in graphene have a similar dichotomy. Namely, the electron-phonon coupling is highly anisotropic, diverging near a saddle point in the graphene electronic band structure. These results support the important role of the VHS in layered materials and the possible optimization of Tc by tuning the VHS with respect to the Fermi level.

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