We use the Kubo formalism to evaluate the contribution of acoustic-phonon exchange to the frictional drag between nearby two-dimensional electron systems. In the case of free phonons, we find a divergent drag rate (tau(D)(-l)). However, tau(D)(-l) becomes finite when phonon scattering from either lattice imperfections or electronic excitations is accounted for. In the case of GaAs quantum wells, we find that for a phonon mean free path l(ph) smaller than a critical value, imperfection scattering dominates and the drag rate varies as ln(l(ph)/d) over many orders of magnitude of the layer separation d. When l(ph) exceeds the critical value, the drag rate is dominated by coupling through an electron-phonon collective mode localized in the vicinity of the electron layers. We argue that the coupled electron-phonon mode may be observable for realistic parameters. Our theory is in good agreement with experimental results for the temperature, density, and d dependence of the drag rate.
Physical Review B Condensed Matter, 1998, Vol 57, Issue 12, p. 7085-7102