Edge-mediated skyrmion chain and its collective dynamics in a confined geometry

Nat Commun. 2015 Oct 8;6:8504. doi: 10.1038/ncomms9504.


The emergence of a topologically nontrivial vortex-like magnetic structure, the magnetic skyrmion, has launched new concepts for memory devices. Extensive studies have theoretically demonstrated the ability to encode information bits by using a chain of skyrmions in one-dimensional nanostripes. Here, we report experimental observation of the skyrmion chain in FeGe nanostripes by using high-resolution Lorentz transmission electron microscopy. Under an applied magnetic field, we observe that the helical ground states with distorted edge spins evolve into individual skyrmions, which assemble in the form of a chain at low field and move collectively into the interior of the nanostripes at elevated fields. Such a skyrmion chain survives even when the width of the nanostripe is much larger than the size of single skyrmion. This discovery demonstrates a way of skyrmion formation through the edge effect, and might, in the long term, shed light on potential applications.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't
  • Research Support, U.S. Gov't, Non-P.H.S.