In this article, we demonstrate that we stabilize isolated magnetic skyrmions of a few tens of nanometers of diameter at room temperature and very low magnetic field. To achieve this purpose, we designed cobalt-based multilayered thin films in which the cobalt layer is sandwiched between two heavy metals in order to achieve additive interfacial Dzyaloshinskii–Moriya interactions (DMIs), and a large value close to 2 mJ m–2 in the case of the Ir|Co|Pt asymmetric multilayers.

 

 

      This strategy allows us to stabilize isolated skyrmions at very low magnetic field in extended films, as well as in nanostructures such as disks or tracks in the submicrometer range. To image the skyrmions we employed advanced nanoscale magnetic X-ray imaging in large Synchrotron facilities to systematically investigate the evolution of magnetic domains and magnetic skyrmions size with magnetic fields. These results represent an experimental breakthrough that can be a robust basis for the development of skyrmion- based devices for memory and/or logic applications, as well as the starting point of further fundamental studies at room temperature on the very rich physics of skyrmions.

This is a collaboration between two partners from MAGicSky : CNRS (main investigators : Nicolas Reyren, Vincent Cros and Albert Fert) and PSI (main investigator : Christoforos Moutafis, now at University of Manchester, UK)

  “Additive interfacial chiral interaction in multilayers for stabilization of small individual skyrmions at room temperature”. Nature Nanotechnol. doi:10.1038/nnano.2015.313

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