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Increased lifetime of metastable skyrmions by controlled doping

DOI: 10.1103/PhysRevB.100.014425 DOI Help

Authors: M. T. Birch (Durham University; Diamond Light Source) , R. Takagi (RIKEN Center for Emergent Matter Science) , S. Seki (RIKEN Center for Emergent Matter Science) , M. N. Wilson (Durham University) , F. Kagawa (RIKEN Center for Emergent Matter Science; University of Tokyo) , A. Štefančič (University of Warwick) , G. Balakrishnan (University of Warwick) , R. Fan (Diamond Light Source) , P. Steadman (Diamond Light Source) , C. J. Ottley (Durham University) , M. Crisanti (University of Warwick; Institut Laue-Langevin) , R. Cubitt (Institut Laue-Langevin) , T. Lancaster (Durham University) , Y. Tokura (RIKEN Center for Emergent Matter Science; University of Tokyo) , P. D. Hatton (University of Durham)
Co-authored by industrial partner: No

Type: Journal Paper
Journal: Physical Review B , VOL 100

State: Published (Approved)
Published: July 2019

Abstract: Previous observations of metastable magnetic skyrmions have shown that close to the equilibrium pocket the metastable state has a short lifetime, and therefore, rapid cooling is required to generate a significant skyrmion population at low temperatures. Here, we report that the lifetime of metastable skyrmions in crystals of Cu 2 OSeO 3 is extended by a factor of 50 with the introduction of only 2.5% zinc doping, allowing over 50% of the population to survive when field cooling at a rate of just 1 K/min. Our systematic study suggests that the lifetime enhancement is due to the increase in the pinning site density, rather than an alteration to the energy barrier of the decay process. We expect that doping can be exploited to control the lifetime of the metastable SkL state in other chiral magnets, offering a method of engineering skyrmion materials towards application in future devices.

Journal Keywords: Dopants; Magnetic phase transitions; Magnetic susceptibility; Skyrmions; AC susceptibility measurements; Magnetization measurements; Microwave techniques; Neutron scattering

Subject Areas: Physics, Materials

Facility: Institut Laue-Langevin (ILL)