Getting a grip on skyrmions

Magnetic skyrmions – swirls of magnetic moments – have unique topological properties that make them promising candidates for the next generation of computer storage devices. So far, the long-range ordering of the skyrmion lattice phase prevented the materials from spatially breaking up into domains, which are the ultimate elements of magnetic memory bits.

In a recent resonant X-ray scattering study published in Nano Letters, scientists report a controlled way to create a multidomain skyrmion lattice state. This important discovery allows for the separation of these topologically-protected quasiparticles into smaller domains, ultimately permitting the local manipulation of skyrmions. This is an essential step towards skyrmion-based spintronics in data information and telecommunication technologies.

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