Geometric frustration in polygons of polariton condensates creating vortices of varying topological charge

Vorticity is a key ingredient to a broad variety of fluid phenomena, and its quantised version is considered to be the hallmark of superfluidity. Circulating flows that correspond to vortices of a large topological charge, termed giant vortices, are notoriously difficult to realise and even when externally imprinted, they are unstable, breaking into many vortices of a single charge. In spite of many theoretical proposals on the formation and stabilisation of giant vortices in ultra-cold atomic Bose-Einstein condensates and other superfluid systems, their experimental realisation remains elusive. Polariton condensates stand out from other superfluid systems due to their particularly strong interparticle interactions combined with their non-equilibrium nature, and as such provide an alternative testbed for the study of vortices. Here, we nonresonantly excite an odd number of polariton condensates at the vertices of a regular polygon and we observe the formation of a stable discrete vortex state with a large topological charge as a consequence of antibonding frustration between nearest neighbouring condensates.