Field-free nucleation of antivortices and giant vortices in non-superconducting materials
Journal article, Peer reviewed
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are usually energetically unfavorable, but geometric symmetry constraints on a superconductor in a magnetic field are known to stabilize such objects. Here, we show via microscopic calculations that giant vortices can appear in intrinsically nonsuperconducting materials, even without any applied magnetic field. The enabling mechanism is the proximity effect to a host superconductor where a current flows, and we also demonstrate that antivortices can appear in this setup. Our results open the possibility to study electrically controllable topological defects in unusual environments, which do not have to be exposed to magnetic fields or intrinsically superconducting, but instead display other types of order.