Skyrmions à la carte

03.06.2016

Magnetic skyrmions - stable magnetic whirls with diameters down to a few nanometers - have raised high hopes for future applications in spintronics. In particular, the discovery of skyrmions at transition-metal interfaces, structures which are already used today in read-heads of hard disk drives, has fueled the interest. However, until recently skyrmions have only been observed at very low temperatures and for ultrathin magnetic films of a single atomic layer. Now researchers from the Forschungszentrum Jülich (Peter Grünberg Institut, Quanten-Theorie der Materialien (PGI-1/IAS-1)) and the University of Kiel (Heinze group) report in Nature Communications on the emergence of skyrmions in transition-metal multilayers and show how such systems allow to overcome previous limitations which might pave the way to applications. For more information see also the press release.