Boltzmann-Langevin theory of Coulomb drag

W. Chen, A. V. Andreev, A. Levchenko

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

23 Citations (Scopus)


We develop a Boltzmann-Langevin description of the Coulomb drag effect in clean double-layer systems with large interlayer separation d as compared to the average interelectron distance λF. Coulomb drag arises from density fluctuations with spatial scales of order d. At low temperatures, their characteristic frequencies exceed the intralayer equilibration rate of the electron liquid, and Coulomb drag may be treated in the collisionless approximation. As temperature is raised, the electron mean free path becomes short due to electron-electron scattering. This leads to local equilibration of electron liquid, and consequently drag is determined by hydrodynamic density modes. Our theory applies to both the collisionless and the hydrodynamic regimes, and it enables us to describe the crossover between them. We find that drag resistivity exhibits a nonmonotonic temperature dependence with multiple crossovers at distinct energy scales. At the lowest temperatures, Coulomb drag is dominated by the particle-hole continuum, whereas at higher temperatures of the collision-dominated regime it is governed by the plasmon modes. We observe that fast intralayer equilibration mediated by electron-electron collisions ultimately renders a stronger drag effect.

Original languageEnglish
Article number245405
JournalPhysical Review B - Condensed Matter and Materials Physics
Issue number24
Publication statusPublished - 8 Jun 2015
Externally publishedYes


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