Ab initio theory of plasmonic superconductivity within the Eliashberg and density-functional formalisms
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We extend the two leading methods for the ab initio computational description of phonon-mediated superconductors, namely Eliashberg theory and density-functional theory for superconductors (SCDFT), to include plasmonic effects. Furthermore, we introduce a hybrid formalism in which the Eliashberg approximation for the electron-phonon coupling is combined with the SCDFT treatment of the dynamically screened Coulomb interaction. The methods have been tested on a set of well-known conventional superconductors by studying how the plasmon contribution affects the phononic mechanism in determining the critical temperature (TC). Our simulations show that plasmonic SCDFT leads to a good agreement between predicted and measured TC's, whereas Eliashberg theory considerably overestimates the plasmon-mediated pairing and, therefore, TC. The hybrid approach, on the other hand, gives results close to SCDFT and overall in excellent agreement with experiments.