Researchers get first microscopic look at a tiny phenomenon with big potential implications

phys.org | 7/11/2019 | Staff
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Matter behaves differently when it's tiny. At the nanoscale, electric current cuts through mountains of particles, spinning them into vortexes that can be used intentionally in quantum computing. The particles arrange themselves into a topological map, but the lines blur as electrons merge into indistinguishable quasiparticles with shifting properties. The trick is learning how to control such changeable materials.

For the first time, researchers have taken a microscopic look at this process. The international team has now published their results on July 11, 2019 in Communications Physics, a Nature journal.

Materials - Silicon - MnSi - Quasiparticles - Skyrmion

In certain conductive materials, such as Manganese Silicon (MnSi), the quasiparticles can accumulate into a magnetic skyrmion with a vortex-like shape and motion. The skyrmion creates a lattice of connection points within the MnSi crystal.

"Magnetic skyrmions have attracted interest due to the potential for spintronics applications," said Taku Sato, study author and professor at the Institute of Multidisciplinary Research for Advanced Materials at Tohoku University.

Spintronics - Electronics - Charge - State - Characteristics

Spintronics refer to theoretical electronics that rely not only on the charge state of a current, but also on the characteristics of electrons to transfer and store quantum information.

"The first step to realize such spintronic applications of skyrmions may be electric current control of skyrmion flow," Sato said. "Once created,...
(Excerpt) Read more at: phys.org
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