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Stabilizing spin spirals and isolated skyrmions at low magnetic field exploiting vanishing magnetic anisotropy

Hervé, Marie; Dupé, Bertrand; Lopes, Rafael; Böttcher, Marie; Martins, Maximiliano D.; Balashov, Timofey; Gerhard, Lukas; Sinova, Jairo; Wulfhekel, Wulf

Skyrmions are topologically protected non-collinear magnetic structures. Their stability is ideally suited to carry information in, e.g., racetrack memories. The success of such a memory critically depends on the ability to stabilize and manipulate skyrmions at low magnetic fields. The non-collinear Dzyaloshinskii-Moriya interaction originating from spin-orbit coupling drives skyrmion formation. It competes with Heisenberg exchange and magnetic anisotropy favoring collinear states. Isolated skyrmions in ultra-thin films so far required magnetic fields as high as several Tesla. Here, we show that isolated skyrmions in a monolayer of Co/Ru(0001) can be stabilized down to vanishing fields. Even with the weak spin-orbit coupling of the 4d element Ru, homochiral spin spirals and isolated skyrmions were detected with spin-sensitive scanning tunneling microscopy. Density functional theory calculations explain the stability of the chiral magnetic features by the absence of magnetic anisotropy energy.

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Verlagsausgabe §
DOI: 10.5445/IR/1000081400
Veröffentlicht am 27.03.2018
DOI: 10.1038/s41467-018-03240-w
Zitationen: 39
Web of Science
Zitationen: 41
Cover der Publikation
Zugehörige Institution(en) am KIT Institut für Nanotechnologie (INT)
Physikalisches Institut (PHI)
Publikationstyp Zeitschriftenaufsatz
Publikationsmonat/-jahr 12.2018
Sprache Englisch
Identifikator ISSN: 2041-1723
KITopen-ID: 1000081400
HGF-Programm 43.21.02 (POF III, LK 01) Quantum Properties of Nanostructures
Erschienen in Nature Communications
Verlag Nature Research
Band 9
Heft 1
Seiten Art.Nr. 1015
Bemerkung zur Veröffentlichung Gefördert durch den KIT-Publikationsfonds
Schlagwörter Ferromagnetism; Spintronics; Surfaces, interfaces and thin films
Nachgewiesen in Scopus
Web of Science
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