Mitchell Institute for Fundamental Physics & Astronomy
College Station, Texas 77843
The maximum transition temperature Tc observed in the phase diagrams of several unconventional superconductors takes place in the vicinity of a putative antiferromagnetic quantum critical point. This observation motivated the theoretical proposal that superconductivity in these systems may be driven by quantum critical fluctuations, which in turn can also promote non-Fermi liquid behavior. In this talk, we present a combined analytical and sign-problem-free Quantum Monte Carlo investigation of the spin-fermion model — a widely studied low-energy model for the interplay between superconductivity and magnetic fluctuations. By engineering a series of band dispersions that interpolate between near-nested and open Fermi surfaces, and by also varying the strength of the spin-fermion interaction, we find that the hot spots of the Fermi surface provide the dominant contribution to the pairing instability in this model. We show that the analytical expressions for Tc and for the pairing susceptibility, obtained within a large-N Eliashberg approximation to the spin-fermion model, agree well with the Quantum Monte Carlo data, even in the regime of interactions comparable to the electronic bandwidth.