Electrical detection of domain walls and skyrmions


Localized, stable spin structures on the nanometer scale such as domain walls and skyrmions have been proposed for future memory and logic devices. A key prerequisite to realize such device concepts is the read-out of the magnetic information. In a study published this week in Physical Review Letters Sebastian Meyer and Stefan Heinze (CAU Kiel) in collaboration with experimentalists around Kirsten von Bergmann from the group of Prof. Roland Wiesendanger (University of Hamburg) demonstrate that all-electrical detection of domain walls and skyrmions is possible in Co-based systems which are widely used in applications. Electronic structure calculations reveal the origin of the change in the tunneling current due to the noncollinearity of the spin structures. This work shows that the noncollinear magnetoresistance effect is a general phenomenon and well-suited for applications.