In-phase motion of Josephson vortices in stacked SNS Josephson junctions: effect of ordered pinning

The dynamics of Josephson vortices (fluxons) in artificial stacks of superconducting–normal–superconducting Josephson junctions is investigated using the anisotropic time-dependent Ginzburg–Landau theory in the presence of a square/rectangular array of pinning centers (holes). For small values of the applied drive, fluxons in different junctions move out of phase, forming a periodic triangular lattice. A rectangular lattice of moving fluxons is observed at larger currents, which is in agreement with previous theoretical predictions (Koshelev and Aranson 2000 Phys. Rev. Lett. 85 3938). This 'superradiant' flux-flow state is found to be stable in a wide region of applied current. The stability range of this ordered state is considerably larger than the one obtained for the pinning-free sample. Clear commensurability features are observed in the current–voltage characteristics of the system with pronounced peaks in the critical current at (fractional) matching fields. The effect of density and strength of the pinning centers on the stability of the rectangular fluxon lattice is discussed. Predicted synchronized motion of fluxons in the presence of ordered pinning can be detected experimentally using the rf response of the system, where enhancement of the Shapiro-like steps is expected due to the synchronization.