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Periodically modulated skyrmion strings in Cu2OSeO3

DOI: 10.1038/s41535-021-00373-y DOI Help

Authors: D. M. Burn (Diamond Light Source) , R. Brearton (Diamond Light Source; University of Oxford) , Kejing Ran (ShanghaiTech University) , S. L. Zhang (ShanghaiTech University) , Gerrit Van Der Laan (Diamond Light Source) , T. Hesjedal (University of Oxford)
Co-authored by industrial partner: No

Type: Journal Paper
Journal: Npj Quantum Materials , VOL 6

State: Published (Approved)
Published: August 2021
Diamond Proposal Number(s): 17402 , 21868

Open Access Open Access

Abstract: Magnetic skyrmions are vortex-like spin textures, which are usually treated as two-dimensional objects. In their lattice state, they form well-ordered, hexagonal structures, which have been studied in great detail. To obtain a three-dimensional (3D) skyrmion crystal, these planes can be envisaged to be stacked up forming skyrmion strings in the third dimension. Here, we report the observation of a 3D skyrmion phase in Cu2OSeO3 by carrying out reciprocal space mapping in resonant elastic x-ray scattering. We observe regions in the magnetic field-cooling phase diagram in which the skyrmion phase apparently coexists with the conical phase. However, such a coexistence is forbidden due to symmetry arguments. Instead, the skyrmion strings themselves are periodically modulated along their axes, as confirmed by micromagnetic simulations. The periodic modulation is in fact a necessary consequence of the evolution of the skyrmion phase out of the conical state and should therefore be a universal property of skyrmion strings in chiral helimagnets.

Journal Keywords: Magnetic properties and materials; Topological matter

Diamond Keywords: Skyrmions

Subject Areas: Materials, Physics

Instruments: I10-Beamline for Advanced Dichroism

Added On: 18/08/2021 09:49


Discipline Tags:

Quantum Materials Physics Hard condensed matter - structures Magnetism Materials Science

Technical Tags:

Scattering Resonant Elastic X-ray Scattering (REXS)