Superfluid Stiffness within Eliashberg Theory: The Role of Vertex Corrections (2024)

ZM Raines, S Zhang, AV Chubukov

in Phys. Rev. B

In this work we consider the superfluid stiffness of a generically non-Galilean invariant interacting system and investigate under what conditions the stiffness may nonetheless approach the Galilean-invariant value $n/m$. Within Eliashberg theory we find that the renormalized stiffness is approximately given by $n/m$ in the case when the $l=0$ and $l=1$ components of the effective Fermi-surface projected interaction are approximately equal over a range of frequencies. This holds, in particular, when the interaction is peaked at zero momentum transfer. We examine this result through three complementary lenses: the $\delta (\omega)$ term in the conductivity, the phase dependence of the Luttinger-Ward free energy, and the coupling of the amplitude and phase sectors in the Hubbard-Stratonovich collective mode action. From these considerations we show that the value of the stiffness is determined by the strength of renormalization of the current vertex and that the latter can be interpreted as the shift of the self-consistent solution due to flow of the condensate, or alternatively as coupling of the phase mode to $l=1$ fluctuations of the order parameter. We highlight that even though the superfluid stiffness in some non-Galilean systems approaches the Galilean value, this is not enforced by symmetry, and in general the stiffness may be strongly suppressed from its BCS value. As a corollary we obtain the generic form of the phase action within Eliashberg theory and charge and spin Ward identities for a superconductor with frequency dependent gap function.