Confinement effects on electron and phonon degrees of freedom in nanofilm superconductors : a Green function approach
Faculty of Sciences. Physics
Physical review : B : condensed matter and materials physics. - Lancaster, Pa, 1998 - 2015
, p. 1-13
University of Antwerp
The Green function approach to the Bardeen-Cooper-Schrieffer theory of superconductivity is used to study nanofilms. We go beyond previous models and include effects of confinement on the strength of the electron-phonon coupling as well as on the electronic spectrum and on the phonon modes. Within our approach, we find that in ultrathin films, confinement effects on the electronic screening become very important. Indeed, contrary to what has been advanced in recent years, the sudden increases of the density of states when new bands start to be occupied as the film thickness increases, tend to suppress the critical temperature rather than to enhance it. On the other hand, the increase of the number of phonon modes with increasing number of monolayers in the film leads to an increase in the critical temperature. As a consequence, the superconducting critical parameters in such nanofilms are determined by these two competing effects. Furthermore, in sufficiently thin films, the condensate consists of well-defined subcondensates associated with the occupied bands, each with a distinct coherence length. The subcondensates can interfere constructively or destructively giving rise to an interference pattern in the Cooper pair probability density.