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Engineering skyrmions in transition-metal multilayers for spintronics

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Magnetic skyrmions are localized, topologically protected spin structures that have been proposed for storing or processing information due to their intriguing dynamical and transport properties. Important in terms of applications is the recent discovery of interface stabilized skyrmions as evidenced in ultra-thin transition-metal films. However, so far only skyrmions at interfaces with a single atomic layer of a magnetic material were reported, which greatly limits their potential for application in devices. Here we predict the emergence of skyrmions in [4d/Fe2/5d]n multilayers, that is, structures composed of Fe biatomic layers sandwiched between 4d and 5d transition-metal layers. In these composite structures, the exchange and the Dzyaloshinskii-Moriya interactions that control skyrmion formation can be tuned separately by the two interfaces. This allows engineering skyrmions as shown based on density functional theory and spin dynamics simulations.




Dupé, B., Bihlmayer, G., Böttcher, M., Blügel, S., & Heinze, S. (2016). Engineering skyrmions in transition-metal multilayers for spintronics. Nature Communications, 7.

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