Langevin Dynamics with Spatial Correlations as a Model for Electron- Phonon Coupling

A Tamm and M Caro and A Caro and G Samolyuk and M Klintenberg and AA Correa, PHYSICAL REVIEW LETTERS, 120, 185501 (2018).

DOI: 10.1103/PhysRevLett.120.185501

Stochastic Langevin dynamics has been traditionally used as a tool to describe nonequilibrium processes. When utilized in systems with collective modes, traditional Langevin dynamics relaxes all modes indiscriminately, regardless of their wavelength. We propose a generalization of Langevin dynamics that can capture a differential coupling between collective modes and the bath, by introducing spatial correlations in the random forces. This allows modeling the electronic subsystem in a metal as a generalized Langevin bath endowed with a concept of locality, greatly improving the capabilities of the two- temperature model. The specific form proposed here for the spatial correlations produces a physical wave-vector and polarization dependency of the relaxation produced by the electron-phonon coupling in a solid. We show that the resulting model can be used for describing the path to equilibration of ions and electrons and also as a thermostat to sample the equilibrium canonical ensemble. By extension, the family of models presented here can be applied in general to any dense system, solids, alloys, and dense plasmas. As an example, we apply the model to study the nonequilibrium dynamics of an electron-ion two-temperature Ni crystal.

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