Magnetic vortices: Two independent magnetic skyrmion phases discovered in a single material

ScienceDaily | 7/12/2018 | Staff
melanie7 (Posted by) Level 3
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Magnetic whirls are formed when the magnetic moments are aligned in a circular fashion. These so-called skyrmions are not just interesting for basic research -- because of their stability and their tiny dimensions they could prove crucial for the development of future magnetic storage.

For these reasons they are currently at the center of a large body of research. One of the key questions is about when and how they occur. A team of researchers from Technical University of Munich (TUM), Technical University of Dresden and the University of Cologne has shown for the first time, that magnetic skyrmions can form due to different mechanisms in separate phases in the same material. Their discovery in the chiral magnet Cu2OSeO3 near absolute zero temperature (-273.15 °C) is published in the scientific journal Nature Physics.

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"Skyrmions usually exist in a single thermodynamic parameter range, that is, a certain range of temperature and magnetic or electric field strength. Indeed, this is the case for all the materials in which skyrmions have been found so far," explains physicist Christian Pfleiderer of TUM, who led this research study.

Constraint - Creation - Use - Skyrmions - Parameters

"This imposes a constraint for the creation and technical use of skyrmions, since they are only stable as long as one finds and abides to the exact physical parameters required. Now, in a single material we have found two different skyrmion phases, with two different sets of parameters. Previously it was...
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