Coexistence of distinct skyrmion phases observed in hybrid ferromagnetic/ferrimagnetic multilayers

Nat Commun. 2020 Dec 11;11(1):6365. doi: 10.1038/s41467-020-20025-2.


Materials hosting magnetic skyrmions at room temperature could enable compact and energetically-efficient storage such as racetrack memories, where information is coded by the presence/absence of skyrmions forming a moving chain through the device. The skyrmion Hall effect leading to their annihilation at the racetrack edges can be suppressed, for example, by antiferromagnetically-coupled skyrmions. However, avoiding modifications of the inter-skyrmion distances remains challenging. As a solution, a chain of bits could also be encoded by two different solitons, such as a skyrmion and a chiral bobber, with the limitation that it has solely been realized in B20-type materials at low temperatures. Here, we demonstrate that a hybrid ferro/ferri/ferromagnetic multilayer system can host two distinct skyrmion phases at room temperature, namely tubular and partial skyrmions. Furthermore, the tubular skyrmion can be converted into a partial skyrmion. Such systems may serve as a platform for designing memory applications using distinct skyrmion types.