Observation of Room-Temperature Magnetic Skyrmions and Their Current-Driven Dynamics in Ultrathin Metallic Ferromagnets

Nat Mater. 2016 May;15(5):501-6. doi: 10.1038/nmat4593. Epub 2016 Feb 29.

Abstract

Magnetic skyrmions are topologically protected spin textures that exhibit fascinating physical behaviours and large potential in highly energy-efficient spintronic device applications. The main obstacles so far are that skyrmions have been observed in only a few exotic materials and at low temperatures, and fast current-driven motion of individual skyrmions has not yet been achieved. Here, we report the observation of stable magnetic skyrmions at room temperature in ultrathin transition metal ferromagnets with magnetic transmission soft X-ray microscopy. We demonstrate the ability to generate stable skyrmion lattices and drive trains of individual skyrmions by short current pulses along a magnetic racetrack at speeds exceeding 100 m s(-1) as required for applications. Our findings provide experimental evidence of recent predictions and open the door to room-temperature skyrmion spintronics in robust thin-film heterostructures.

Publication types

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