Magnetic skyrmions are swirling spin structures stabilized typically by the Dyzaloshinskii-Moriya interaction. The existing control of magnetic skyrmions has often relied on the use of an electric current, which may cause overheating in densely packed devices. Here we demonstrate, using phase-field simulations, that an isolated Néel skyrmion in a magnetic nanodisk can be repeatedly created and deleted by voltage-induced strains from a juxtaposed piezoelectric. Such a skyrmion switching is non-volatile, and consumes only ~0.5 fJ per switching which is about five orders of magnitude smaller than that by current-induced spin-transfer-torques. It is found that the strain-mediated skyrmion creation occurs through an intermediate vortex-like spin structure, and that the skyrmion deletion occurs though a homogenous shrinkage during which the Néel wall is temporarily transformed to a vortex-wall. These findings are expected to stimulate experimental research into strain-mediated voltage control of skyrmions, as well as other chiral spin structures for low-power spintronics.
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- Nature Communications
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- National Science Foundation
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