Publications by Shilei Zhang

Manipulation of skyrmion motion by magnetic field gradients

Nature Communications Springer Nature 9 (2018) 2115

SL Zhang, WW Wang, DM Burn, H Peng, H Berger, A Bauer, C Pfleiderer, G van der Laan, T Hesjedal

Magnetic skyrmions are particle-like, topologically protected magnetisation entities that are promising candidates as information carriers in racetrack memory. The transport of skyrmions in a shift-register-like fashion is crucial for their embodiment in practical devices. Here, we demonstrate that chiral skyrmions in Cu2OSeO3 can be effectively manipulated under the influence of a magnetic field gradient. In a radial field gradient, skyrmions were found to rotate collectively, following a given velocity–radius relationship. As a result of this relationship, and in competition with the elastic properties of the skyrmion lattice, the rotating ensemble disintegrates into a shell-like structure of discrete circular racetracks. Upon reversing the field direction, the rotation sense reverses. Field gradients therefore offer an effective handle for the fine control of skyrmion motion, which is inherently driven by magnon currents. In this scheme, no local electric currents are needed, thus presenting a different approach to shift-register-type operations based on spin transfer torque.

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