Dynamical Defects in Rotating Magnetic Skyrmion Lattices

The chiral magnet Cu2OSeO3 hosts a Skyrmion lattice that may be equivalently described as a superposition of plane waves or a lattice of particlelike topological objects. A thermal gradient may break up the Skyrmion lattice and induce rotating domains, raising the question of which of these scenarios better describes the violent dynamics at the domain boundaries. Here, we show that in an inhomogeneous temperature gradient caused by illumination in a Lorentz transmission electron microscope different parts of the Skyrmion lattice can be set into motion with different angular velocities. Tracking the time dependence, we show that the constant rearrangement of domain walls is governed by dynamic 5-7 defects arranging into lines. An analysis of the associated defect density is described by Frank's equation and agrees well with classical 2D Monte Carlo simulations. Fluctuations of boundaries show a surgelike rearrangement of Skyrmion clusters driven by defect rearrangement consistent with simulations treating Skyrmions as point particles. Our findings underline the particle character of the Skyrmion.

Published in:
Physical Review Letters, 118, 20, 207205
College Pk, Amer Physical Soc

 Record created 2017-07-10, last modified 2018-12-03

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