Publications associated with Oxide Electronics

Anatomy of Skyrmionic Textures in Magnetic Multilayers.

Advanced materials (Deerfield Beach, Fla.) 31 (2019) e1807683-

W Li, I Bykova, S Zhang, G Yu, R Tomasello, M Carpentieri, Y Liu, Y Guang, J Gräfe, M Weigand, DM Burn, G van der Laan, T Hesjedal, Z Yan, J Feng, C Wan, J Wei, X Wang, X Zhang, H Xu, C Guo, H Wei, G Finocchio, X Han, G Schütz

Room temperature magnetic skyrmions in magnetic multilayers are considered as information carriers for future spintronic applications. Currently, a detailed understanding of the skyrmion stabilization mechanisms is still lacking in these systems. To gain more insight, it is first and foremost essential to determine the full real-space spin configuration. Here, two advanced X-ray techniques are applied, based on magnetic circular dichroism, to investigate the spin textures of skyrmions in [Ta/CoFeB/MgO]n multilayers. First, by using ptychography, a high-resolution diffraction imaging technique, the 2D out-of-plane spin profile of skyrmions with a spatial resolution of 10 nm is determined. Second, by performing circular dichroism in resonant elastic X-ray scattering, it is demonstrated that the chirality of the magnetic structure undergoes a depth-dependent evolution. This suggests that the skyrmion structure is a complex 3D structure rather than an identical planar texture throughout the layer stack. The analyses of the spin textures confirm the theoretical predictions that the dipole-dipole interactions together with the external magnetic field play an important role in stabilizing sub-100 nm diameter skyrmions and the hybrid structure of the skyrmion domain wall. This combined X-ray-based approach opens the door for in-depth studies of magnetic skyrmion systems, which allows for precise engineering of optimized skyrmion heterostructures.

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