Josephson vortex loops in nanostructured Josephson junctions

Linked and knotted vortex loops have recently received a revival of interest. Such three-dimensional topological entities have been observed in both classical- and super-fluids, as well as in optical systems. In superconductors, they remained obscure due to their instability against collapse – unless supported by inhomogeneous magnetic field. Here we reveal a new kind of vortex matter in superconductors - the Josephson vortex loops - formed and stabilized in planar junctions or layered superconductors as a result of nontrivial cutting and recombination of Josephson vortices around the barriers for their motion. Engineering latter barriers opens broad perspectives on loop manipulation and control of other possible knotted/linked/entangled vortex topologies in nanostructured superconductors. In the context of Josephson devices proposed to date, the high-frequency excitations of the Josephson loops can be utilized in future design of powerful emitters, tunable filters and waveguides of high-frequency electromagnetic radiation, thereby pushing forward the much needed Terahertz technology.