Abstract

Magnetic skyrmions are vortexlike topological spin textures often observed in structurally chiral magnets with Dzyaloshinskii-Moriya interaction. Among them, Co-Zn-Mn alloys with a beta-Mn-type chiral structure host skyrmions above room temperature. In this system, it has recently been found that skyrmions persist over a wide temperature and magnetic field region as a long-lived metastable state, and that the skyrmion lattice transforms from a triangular lattice to a square one. To obtain perspective on chiral magnetism in Co-Zn-Mn alloys and clarify how various properties related to the skyrmion vary with the composition, we performed systematic studies on Co10Zn10, Co9Zn9Mn2, Co8Zn8Mn4, and Co7Zn7Mn6 in terms of magnetic susceptibility and small-angle neutron scattering measurements. Robust metastable skyrmions with extremely long lifetime are commonly observed in all the compounds. On the other hand, the preferred orientation of the helimagnetic propagation vector and its temperature dependence dramatically change upon varying the Mn concentration. The robustness of the metastable skyrmions in these materials is attributed to topological nature of the skyrmions as affected by structural and magnetic disorder. Magnetocrystalline anisotropy as well as magnetic disorder due to frustrated Mn spins play crucial roles in giving rise to the observed change in helical states and corresponding skyrmion lattice form.

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