Controlled individual skyrmion nucleation at artificial defects formed by ion irradiation

Fallon, K. et al. (2020) Controlled individual skyrmion nucleation at artificial defects formed by ion irradiation. Small, 16(13), 1907450. (doi: 10.1002/smll.201907450)

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Magnetic skyrmions are particle‐like deformations in a magnetic texture. They have great potential as information carriers in spintronic devices because of their interesting topological properties and favorable motion under spin currents. A new method of nucleating skyrmions at nanoscale defect sites, created in a controlled manner with focused ion beam irradiation, in polycrystalline magnetic multilayer samples with an interfacial Dzyaloshinskii–Moriya interaction, is reported. This new method has three notable advantages: 1) localization of nucleation; 2) stability over a larger range of external field strengths, including stability at zero field; and 3) existence of skyrmions in material systems where, prior to defect fabrication, skyrmions were not previously obtained by field cycling. Additionally, it is observed that the size of defect nucleated skyrmions is uninfluenced by the defect itself—provided that the artificial defects are controlled to be smaller than the inherent skyrmion size. All of these characteristics are expected to be useful toward the goal of realizing a skyrmion‐based spintronic device. This phenomenon is studied with a range of transmission electron microscopy techniques to probe quantitatively the magnetic behavior at the defects with applied field and correlate this with the structural impact of the defects.

Item Type:Articles
Glasgow Author(s) Enlighten ID:McVitie, Professor Stephen and Hughes, Mr Sean and McGrouther, Dr Damien and Fallon, Ms Kayla and Smith, Mr William and McFadzean, Dr Sam
Authors: Fallon, K., Hughes, S., Zeissler, K., Legrand, W., Ajejas, F., Maccariello, D., McFadzean, S., Smith, W., McGrouther, D., Collin, S., Reyren, N., Cros, V., Marrows, C. H., and McVitie, S.
College/School:College of Science and Engineering > School of Physics and Astronomy
Journal Name:Small
ISSN (Online):1613-6829
Published Online:05 March 2020
Copyright Holders:Copyright © 2020 Wiley-VCH GmbH & Co. KGaA, Weinheim
First Published:First published in Small 16(3):1907450
Publisher Policy:Reproduced in accordance with the copyright policy of the publisher
Data DOI:10.5525/gla.researchdata.893

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Project CodeAward NoProject NamePrincipal InvestigatorFunder's NameFunder RefLead Dept
172091MAGicSkyStephen McVitieEuropean Commission (EC)665095P&S - Physics & Astronomy
190883Consortium for advanced materials based on spin chiralityStephen McVitieEngineering and Physical Sciences Research Council (EPSRC)EP/M024423/1P&S - Physics & Astronomy
172958A Focused Noble Gas Ion Beam Facility for Materials and Device Nanoanalysis - EQUIPMENT GRANTIan MacLarenEngineering and Physical Sciences Research Council (EPSRC)EP/P001483/1P&S - Physics & Astronomy