Publications by Roger Johnson

Observation of magnetic vortex pairs at room temperature in a planar α-Fe2O3/Co heterostructure.

Nature materials 17 (2018) 581-585

FP Chmiel, N Waterfield Price, RD Johnson, AD Lamirand, J Schad, G van der Laan, DT Harris, J Irwin, MS Rzchowski, C-B Eom, PG Radaelli

Vortices, occurring whenever a flow field 'whirls' around a one-dimensional core, are among the simplest topological structures, ubiquitous to many branches of physics. In the crystalline state, vortex formation is rare, since it is generally hampered by long-range interactions: in ferroic materials (ferromagnetic and ferroelectric), vortices are observed only when the effects of the dipole-dipole interaction are modified by confinement at the nanoscale1-3, or when the parameter associated with the vorticity does not couple directly with strain 4 . Here, we observe an unprecedented form of vortices in antiferromagnetic haematite (α-Fe2O3) epitaxial films, in which the primary whirling parameter is the staggered magnetization. Remarkably, ferromagnetic topological objects with the same vorticity and winding number as the α-Fe2O3 vortices are imprinted onto an ultra-thin Co ferromagnetic over-layer by interfacial exchange. Our data suggest that the ferromagnetic vortices may be merons (half-skyrmions, carrying an out-of plane core magnetization), and indicate that the vortex/meron pairs can be manipulated by the application of an in-plane magnetic field, giving rise to large-scale vortex-antivortex annihilation.

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