Miquel Royo, Massimiliano Stengel

We develop a fundamental theory of the long-range electrostatic interactions in two-dimensional crystals by performing a rigorous study of the nonanalyticities of the Coulomb kernel. We find that the dielectric functions are best represented by $2\times 2$ matrices, with nonuniform macroscopic potentials that are two-component hyperbolic functions of the out-of-plane coordinate $z$. We demonstrate our arguments by deriving the long-range interatomic forces in the adiabatic regime, where we identify a formerly overlooked dipolar coupling involving the out-of-plane components of the dynamical charges. The resulting formula is exact up to an arbitrary multipolar order, which we illustrate in practice via the explicit inclusion of dynamical quadrupoles. By performing numerical tests on monolayer BN, ${\mathrm{SnS}}_{2}$, and ${\mathrm{BaTiO}}_{3}$ membranes, we show that our method allows for a drastic improvement in the description of the long-range electrostatic interactions, with comparable benefits to the quality of the interpolated phonon band structure.