Confinement of Skyrmions in Nanoscale FeGe Device-like Structures.

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Twitchett-Harrison, Alison C  ORCID logo
Loudon, James C 
Pepper, Ryan A 
Fangohr, Hans 

Skyrmion-based devices have been proposed as a promising solution for low-energy data storage. These devices include racetrack or logic structures and require skyrmions to be confined in regions with dimensions comparable to the size of a single skyrmion. Here we examine skyrmions in FeGe device shapes using Lorentz transmission electron microscopy to reveal the consequences of skyrmion confinement in a device-like structure. Dumbbell-shaped elements were created by focused ion beam milling to provide regions where single skyrmions are confined adjacent to areas containing a skyrmion lattice. Simple block shapes of equivalent dimensions were also prepared to allow a direct comparison with skyrmion formation in a less complex, yet still confined, device geometry. The impact of applying a magnetic field and varying the temperature on the formation of skyrmions within the shapes was examined. This revealed that it is not just confinement within a small device structure that controls the position and number of skyrmions but that a complex device geometry changes the skyrmion behavior, including allowing skyrmions to form at lower applied magnetic fields than in simple shapes. The impact of edges in complex shapes is observed to be significant in changing the behavior of the magnetic textures formed. This could allow methods to be developed to control both the position and number of skyrmions within device structures.

FeGe, LTEM, Bloch skyrmions, confinement, FIB microfabrication, dumbbell shape, micromagnetic simulations
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ACS Appl Electron Mater
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American Chemical Society (ACS)
EPSRC (via Durham University) (RF040462)
UKRI EP/N032128/1 UKRI EP/L015382/1
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