A new class of chiral materials hosting magnetic skyrmions beyond room temperature

Skyrmions, topologically protected vortex-like nanometric spin textures in magnets, have been attracting increasing attention for emergent electromagnetic responses and possible technological applications for spintronics. In particular, metallic magnets with chiral and cubic/tetragonal crystal structure may have high potential to host skyrmions that can be driven by low electrical current excitation. However, experimental observations of skyrmions have been limited to below room temperature for the metallic chiral magnets, specifically for the MnSi-type B20 compounds. Towards technological applications, transcending this limitation is crucial. Here we demonstrate the formation of skyrmions with unique spin helicity both at and above room temperature in a family of cubic chiral magnets: beta-Mn-type Co-Zn-Mn alloys with a different chiral space group from that of B20 compounds. Lorentz transmission electron microscopy, magnetization and small-angle neutron scattering measurements unambiguously reveal formation of a skyrmion crystal under application of a magnetic field in both thin-plate and bulk forms.

Published in:
Nature Communications, 6, 7638
London, Nature Publishing Group

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 Record created 2015-09-28, last modified 2020-10-27

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