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Topological defect-mediated skyrmion annihilation in three dimensions

DOI: 10.1038/s42005-021-00675-4 DOI Help

Authors: Max T. Birch (Durham University; Max Planck Institute for Intelligent Systems) , David Cortés-Ortuño (Utrecht University) , Nguyen D. Khanh (RIKEN Center for Emergent Matter Science (CEMS); The University of Tokyo) , Shinichiro Seki (RIKEN Center for Emergent Matter Science (CEMS); The University of Tokyo; PRESTO, Japan Science and Technology Agency (JST)) , Ales Stefancic (University of Warwick) , Geetha Balakrishnan (University of Warwick) , Yoshinori Tokura (RIKEN Center for Emergent Matter Science (CEMS); The University of Tokyo) , Peter D. Hatton (Durham University)
Co-authored by industrial partner: No

Type: Journal Paper
Journal: Communications Physics , VOL 4

State: Published (Approved)
Published: August 2021

Open Access Open Access

Abstract: The creation and annihilation of magnetic skyrmions are mediated by three-dimensional topological defects known as Bloch points. Investigation of such dynamical processes is important both for understanding the emergence of exotic topological spin textures, and for future engineering of skyrmions in technological applications. However, while the annihilation of skyrmions has been extensively investigated in two dimensions, in three dimensions the phase transitions are considerably more complex. We report field-dependent experimental measurements of metastable skyrmion lifetimes in an archetypal chiral magnet, revealing two distinct regimes. Comparison to supporting three-dimensional geodesic nudged elastic band simulations indicates that these correspond to skyrmion annihilation into either the helical and conical states, each exhibiting a different transition mechanism. The results highlight that the lowest energy magnetic configuration of the system plays a crucial role when considering the emergence and stability of topological spin structures via defect-mediated dynamics.

Journal Keywords: Magnetic properties and materials; Topological defects

Diamond Keywords: Skyrmions

Subject Areas: Materials, Physics

Diamond Offline Facilities: SQUID-VSM Magnetometer (Quantum Design)
Instruments: NONE-No attached Diamond beamline

Added On: 10/08/2021 11:41


Discipline Tags:

Quantum Materials Physics Magnetism Materials Science

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