Current-induced skyrmion dynamics in constricted geometries

Nat Nanotechnol. 2013 Oct;8(10):742-7. doi: 10.1038/nnano.2013.176. Epub 2013 Sep 8.


Magnetic skyrmions--vortex-like swirling spin structures with a quantized topological number that are observed in chiral magnets--are appealing for potential applications in spintronics because it is possible to control their motion with ultralow current density. To realize skyrmion-based spintronic devices, it is essential to understand skyrmion motions in confined geometries. Here we show by micromagnetic simulations that the current-induced motion of skyrmions in the presence of geometrical boundaries is very different from that in an infinite plane. In a channel of finite width, transverse confinement results in steady-state characteristics of the skyrmion velocity as a function of current that are similar to those of domain walls in ferromagnets, whereas the transient behaviour depends on the initial distance of the skyrmion from the boundary. Furthermore, we show that a single skyrmion can be created by an electric current in a simple constricted geometry comprising a plate-shaped specimen of suitable size and geometry. These findings could guide the design of skyrmion-based devices in which skyrmions are used as information carriers.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't