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Anatomy of skyrmionic textures in magnetic multilayers

DOI: 10.1002/adma.201807683 DOI Help

Authors: Wenjing Li (Beijing National Laboratory for Condensed Matter Physics, Chinese Academy of Sciences; University of Chinese Academy of Sciences; Songshan Lake Materials Laboratory) , Iuliia Bykova (Max Planck Institute for Intelligent Systems) , Shilei Zhang (University of Oxford) , Guoqiang Yu (Beijing National Laboratory for Condensed Matter Physics, Chinese Academy of Sciences; University of Chinese Academy of Sciences; Songshan Lake Materials Laboratory) , Riccardo Tomasello (Institute of Applied and Computational Mathematics) , Mario Carpentieri (Polytechnic University of Bari) , Yizhou Liu (Beijing National Laboratory for Condensed Matter Physics, Chinese Academy of Sciences; University of Chinese Academy of Sciences; Songshan Lake Materials Laboratory) , Yao Guang (Beijing National Laboratory for Condensed Matter Physics, Chinese Academy of Sciences; University of Chinese Academy of Sciences; Songshan Lake Materials Laboratory) , Joachim Gräfe (Max Planck Institute for Intelligent Systems) , Markus Weigand (Max Planck Institute for Intelligent Systems) , David M. Burn (Diamond Light Source) , Gerrit Van Der Laan (Diamond Light Source) , Thorsten Hesjedal (University of Oxford) , Zhengren Yan (Beijing National Laboratory for Condensed Matter Physics, Chinese Academy of Sciences; University of Chinese Academy of Sciences; Songshan Lake Materials Laboratory) , Jiafeng Feng (Beijing National Laboratory for Condensed Matter Physics, Chinese Academy of Sciences; University of Chinese Academy of Sciences; Songshan Lake Materials Laboratory) , Caihua Wan (Beijing National Laboratory for Condensed Matter Physics, Chinese Academy of Sciences; University of Chinese Academy of Sciences; Songshan Lake Materials Laboratory) , Jinwu Wei (Beijing National Laboratory for Condensed Matter Physics, Chinese Academy of Sciences; University of Chinese Academy of Sciences; Songshan Lake Materials Laboratory) , Xiao Wang (Beijing National Laboratory for Condensed Matter Physics, Chinese Academy of Sciences; University of Chinese Academy of Sciences; Songshan Lake Materials Laboratory) , Xiaomin Zhang (Beijing National Laboratory for Condensed Matter Physics, Chinese Academy of Sciences; University of Chinese Academy of Sciences; Songshan Lake Materials Laboratory) , Hongjun Xu (Beijing National Laboratory for Condensed Matter Physics, Chinese Academy of Sciences; University of Chinese Academy of Sciences; Songshan Lake Materials Laboratory) , Chenyang Guo (Beijing National Laboratory for Condensed Matter Physics, Chinese Academy of Sciences; University of Chinese Academy of Sciences; Songshan Lake Materials Laboratory) , Hongxiang Wei (Beijing National Laboratory for Condensed Matter Physics, Chinese Academy of Sciences; University of Chinese Academy of Sciences; Songshan Lake Materials Laboratory) , Giovanni Finocchio (University of Messina) , Xiufeng Han (Beijing National Laboratory for Condensed Matter Physics, Chinese Academy of Sciences; University of Chinese Academy of Sciences; Songshan Lake Materials Laboratory) , Gisela Schütz (Max Planck Institute for Intelligent Systems)
Co-authored by industrial partner: No

Type: Journal Paper
Journal: Advanced Materials , VOL 8

State: Published (Approved)
Published: February 2019
Diamond Proposal Number(s): 18898

Abstract: Room temperature magnetic skyrmions in magnetic multilayers are considered as information carriers for future spintronic applications. Currently, a detailed understanding of the skyrmion stabilization mechanisms is still lacking in these systems. To gain more insight, it is first and foremost essential to determine the full real-space spin configuration. Here, two advanced X-ray techniques are applied, based on magnetic circular dichroism, to investigate the spin textures of skyrmions in [Ta/CoFeB/MgO]n multilayers. First, by using ptychography, a high-resolution diffraction imaging technique, the 2D out-of-plane spin profile of skyrmions with a spatial resolution of 10 nm is determined. Second, by performing circular dichroism in resonant elastic X-ray scattering, it is demonstrated that the chirality of the magnetic structure undergoes a depthdependent evolution. This suggests that the skyrmion structure is a complex 3D structure rather than an identical planar texture throughout the layer stack. The analyses of the spin textures confirm the theoretical predictions that the dipole–dipole interactions together with the external magnetic field play an important role in stabilizing sub-100 nm diameter skyrmions and the hybrid structure of the skyrmion domain wall. Our combined X-ray-based approach opens the door for in-depth studies of magnetic skyrmion systems, which allows for precise engineering of optimized skyrmion heterostructures.

Journal Keywords: Resonant elastic x-ray scattering; skyrmions; ptychography; circular dichroism

Subject Areas: Physics, Materials, Technique Development

Diamond Offline Facilities: Magnetic Spectroscopy Lab
Instruments: I10-Beamline for Advanced Dichroism

Other Facilities: Bessy